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Pros and Cons of the Healthy Marriage Act“Healthy Marriage Act” supporters of the pending legislation in North Carolina insist that the state’s divorce rate is out of control, and so they’ve devised a plan that could make couples, who want to sign divorce papers, wait two years before getting their wish. During this time, reports state, the couple would be forced to continue living together.

State senators Austin Allran and Warren Daniel, both Republicans, are the team behind the bill. Allran explained the rationale in a statement reported by “North Carolina has a very high divorce rate — one of the worst — and it’s probably because we’ve been lax in our divorce laws.”

Some other stipulations for couples looking in to how to file for divorce include required counseling sessions centered on improving communication and resolving conflict. Couples with children will also be required to complete a four-hour training course on the impact of divorce on children.

It’s hard to imagine the bill would have any legs in a federal challenge, but should it be passed, it will certainly be the law of the land in North Carolina until that first appeals case. In any event, here are some of the pros and cons that we see given the information above.

Pros Of Healthy Marriage Act

The required training sessions on how divorce affects children are positives. We’ve reported on numerous studies over the last month that indicate divorce can have a longer lasting effect on children, and not usually in a good way. It can fray the bonds between parent and child and make it more difficult for children (as adults) to get close to others in romantic relationships. If more parents were informed of this going in to their divorce, they might be more willing to work on their marriage.

For that — another pro here — the communication and conflict resolution training might be a help to parents.

Cons Of Healthy Marriage Act  

For starters, the Healthy Marriage Act would have no chance of passing nationwide, nor would it stand a chance of holding up through the appeals process. It smacks too much of telling people how to live their lives, and the US Supreme Court doesn’t tend to favor such legislation as seen in the recent removal of the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Secondly, by forcing embattled couples to continue living together, that could escalate conflict and place children in harm’s way as they try to be kids in an environment where Mom and Dad are at each other’s throats.

Thirdly, for spouses, who have compelling claims for a divorce (i.e. domestic violence, verbal/emotional abuse, adultery) or couples willing to part amicably through an online divorce proceeding, this would impede them from moving on with their lives and pursuit of happiness for two years, all to support the belief systems of a narrow majority (at best — there’s no guarantee North Carolina actually wants this).

What are your thoughts on the Healthy Marriage Act?

4 thoughts on “Healthy Marriage Act: Pros And Cons

  1. Jacob Wadsworth

    It has both pros and cons depending on the situation but I think this is a good thing for couples to be able to fix their marriage. Marriage is something divine and tranquil anyway. It should not be taken lightly especially when kids are involved.


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