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Divorce reforms on the table in some states including Oklahoma

The national divorce rate increased from 1960 to 1980 from 9.2 divorces per 1,000 married women to 22.6 divorces per 1,000 married women which some might argue helped women, on at least some occasions, get out of abusive relationships at least in part due to no-fault divorce. Some divorce reforms have focused on encouraging parenting skills throughout the divorce process rather than eliminating no-fault divorce.

The state of Oklahoma is engaged in a study of, among other things, ways to reduce the divorce rate in the state. A proposal was presented in the state senate that would require couples with minor children who were divorcing to engage in education during what has been described as a 90-day “cooling down” period following the filing of a divorce petition. Although a CBS News poll from 2010 found that 53 percent of Americans believe that divorces should be more difficult to obtain, 33 percent believe divorce is morally acceptable, 36 percent do not believe it is a moral issue and only 22 percent believe it is morally unacceptable according to a Pew Research survey.

It is important for divorcing couples to understand that many divorce legal issues, including property division, child custody and visitation plans, can be determined by the couple. When the couple is unable to agree, however, the court may be required to step in to make those determinations based on family law guidelines and principles that advocate fairness and the child’s best interests. Divorce is seldom taken lightly, however, if that decision has been made, the end of a marriage does not have to be plagued by disputes because the family law legal system is designed to help.