For couples that are experiencing serious marital difficulties, the prospect of coming together to discuss their problems or reach a mutual understanding through counseling may not be an option. In fact, the best - and perhaps the only - option for these couples is often to secure a divorce and go their separate ways.
Interestingly, a state legislator in Montana recently proposed a bill that would have essentially eliminated this option.
Representative Tom McGillvray, the majority leader of Montana's Republican-led House of Representatives, sponsored a bill that would have required all Montana couples who have children under the age of 18 and who are seeking a divorce to undergo mandatory marriage counseling. Specifically, the bill would have required couples to attend at least seven counseling sessions.
McGillvray's justification for making counseling sessions mandatory was to protect children from the emotional and financial fallout of divorce. Regarding this last point, he argued that dissolution of marriage often puts children into poverty and that this in turn increases their reliance on costly state social services.
The legislation failed by a vote of 60-40 with over two dozen of McGillvray's fellow Republicans voting with House Democrats.
Those who voted against the measure argued that the state government did not have the right to interfere in the personal affairs of Montana residents and cause them to incur the costs of counseling sessions.
"I don't want you telling me what I can and can't do in my married life. I'm sure not going to tell anyone what they can and can't do in their married life. Last time I heard, we lived in a free country, people can make their own decisions," said Rep. Edie McClafferty (D-Butte) of the proposed legislation.
If you have exhausted all of your options and would like to learn more about dissolution of marriage, you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced legal professional.
This post is provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. This blog will periodically offer posts that communicate significant developments in the area of family law.
Stay tuned for more from our Denver family law blog ...
House kills mandate for pre-divorce counseling (KULR-8 Billings)
Divorce counseling measure dies in Montana House (KPAX-8 Missoula)