Proposed Bill Attacks ‘Incompatibility’ As Reason For Divorce

Monday, February 6th 2017, 10:44 pm
By: News On 6

Oklahoma has one of the highest divorce rates in the country, but state lawmakers are trying to change that.

House Bill 1277 attacks incompatibility as a sufficient reason for divorce, especially if kids are involved, the couples has been together for 10 or more years, or, if one-half of the couple doesn't even want the divorce.

Marriage therapist Brad Robinson comes from a broken home, so he knows the gravity and impacts a divorce can have on a child.

"You kind of learn that it's scary to really trust somebody else because they may not always be there, and that shows up later in your adult relationships," he said.

That's one of the reasons why he said the new law, although well-intentioned, may not be the best route to take to stop divorces in Oklahoma.

Robinson said, "I think the intention of this law is good, to save marriages. I think everybody, no matter what political party they're in, no matter what beliefs they held, would agree that helping marriages is a good thing for our society."

He said, if anything, the law could just make spouses do something more drastic in order to get the divorce they want.

"I think, if lawmakers in Oklahoma City were really serious about helping marriages, they would look at ways to help individuals finance marriage counseling," he said.

Robinson said there's almost no issue that can't be overcome with professional help.

"If both people are willing to come to marriage counseling, both agree that they want to try to work on it, most likely they're going to see positive improvement and positive gains," he said.

With that being said, Robinson said if one party isn't open to counseling and is only there to appease their partner, that almost never works.

Robinson said most couples don't seek help for six or seven years after it's needed; and since most health insurance policies don't cover marriage counseling, many couples can't even afford it.