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Waiting Period for Divorce DefendedResponding to a recent article by Pamela White, entitled “Defending Divorce,” self-professed “liberal, card-carrying Democrat” Michele Weiner-Davis has taken issue with the idea that the decision to file for divorce should be made easier on couples.

In the piece, published first on Weiner-Davis’ “Divorce Busting” blog, the author argues that “When nearly one out of every two marriages ends in divorce, divorce hardly needs defending.”

“Beside that,” she adds, “the article is filled with erroneous assumptions and information, which I would like to debunk.”

Most Problems Are Solvable

In particular, Weiner-Davis took issue with the idea that legislation delaying divorce papers was “meddling.”

“To consider it to be ‘meddling’ that a proposed law requiring couples with children to take a class about the impact of divorce and to have a ‘cooling off’ period prior to divorcing, demonstrates no appreciation for the havoc divorce leaves in its wake,” she wrote. “Children have no veto power in a decision that will forever alter their lives. Minimally, parents should learn about the insidious ways divorce effects their children.”

Weiner-Davis goes on to say that most issues are “solvable,” noting that marriages usually end at the decision of one party, “leaving the desperate spouse in the dust.”

“‘Left-behind’ spouses will jump at the opportunity to slow things down,” she adds.

Weiner-Davis criticizes that the idea of “defending divorce” is wrong because authors like White assume “there are only two ways to handle this dilemma — get out or stay miserable.”

“But there’s another way,” she adds: “improve relationships so people feel happier and more connected.” She also notes that “psychologically abusive relationships with alcoholic, controlling husbands” account for “only 10 to 15% of all divorces,” and that most of the time, divorce forms are filed “due to garden variety problems: poor communication, growing apart or an inability to manage conflict — all of which are solvable.”

Our Take

As a divorce service that specializes in making the process as easy and cost-effective as possible, we would say there is definitely some merit to what Weiner-Davis has to say. Marriages should be fought for when there is no threat of abuse — domestic or substance. A stable home is good for the child and divorcing over “solvable” problems, as Weiner-Davis points out, reduces the likelihood that your children (or you for that matter) will ever enjoy a stable relationship.

However, just because a relationship problem is solvable, that doesn’t mean it will be solved, and in that case, we hope to make the process easier on the parties involved. Long, protracted divorce battles can set families (and children) back emotionally and financially for many years. If parties can “agree to disagree,” an amicable split can be achieved after less than an hour of guided paperwork and for a fraction of what an attorney costs.

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