In a move that may signal a trend amongst politically conservative states in America, a bill has been introduced in the Kansas House of Representatives that would eliminate “no-fault” divorce. The legislation, introduced by Republican Rep. Keith Esau on behalf of another representative, would strike that part of Kansas’ Divorce and Maintenance statute that lists “incompatibility” as a legally viable ground for a divorce decree. “No-fault divorce gives people an easy out instead of working at it. It would be my hope that they could work out their incompatibilities and learn to work together on things,” said Rep. Esau about the bill.
Detractors, however, see the goals as noble, but the means as flawed. Family law expert and attorney Morgan O’Hara Gering does not believe that this will reduce the number of divorces; rather, it will just make them more contentious. “It could create a lot more litigation and a lot more headaches just to fight about who’s to blame.”
Kansas is historically conservative, having voted for the Republican presidential candidate in every presidential election since 1968. However, 10 percent of the men and 12 percent of the women in Kansas are divorced, as of 2008. This could be seen as evidence of the seeming paradox between states with high political and religious conservatism having the highest rates of divorce. Whatever the cause, divorce seems to be a problem with some politicians, and Kansas is not alone. Oklahoma, Kansas’ neighbor to the south, recently introduced a bill that, while not eliminating no-fault divorce, lengthened the waiting period for divorce. Typically, however, “at-fault” divorces are available to anyone.
The Law of Divorce in Illinois
In Illinois, we enjoy a relatively low level of divorce. In fact, Illinoisans have the fourth lowest divorce rate of all 50 states. Here, the old “at-fault” grounds for divorce still exist. They include adultery, habitual drunkenness, drug use, impotence, and even something so sensical as attempted murder of the spouse. These would all require a hearing, and then, if proven by a preponderance of the evidence, a divorce decree would be entered. However, “no-fault” divorce is also available, meaning that, after a two-year separation (six months if both spouses agree), a decree would be entered.
Contact an Illinois Divorce Attorney
No matter where you live, divorce can be messy. Emotions run high, finances run low, and the process stretches far into the future. But you do not have to do it alone. An experienced family law attorney can help to ease you through the process, so you come out on the other side ready to live your life. If you are considering divorce, contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC today.
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