Mississippi and Montana Turn Down Divorce Reform Bills


It is a political trend divorce attorneys in Pasadena have seen brewing for quite some time: divorce reform bills. For the last couple of years, a variety of divorce reform acts have been purposed by politicians and lawmakers across the country. Yet just as this trend has gained momentum, two high-profile divorce bills on the ballots in two very different states have been defeated.

In Montana, Republican lawmaker Tom McGillvray proposed a bill that would require divorcing couples to attend seven meetings with a counselor. McGillvray says divorce is damaging a generation of children and thinks counseling could save marriages. Opponents of the bill, however, believe the bill was overstepping its bounds and interfering with the private lives of voters.

"I don't want you telling me what I can and can't do in my married life," argued Democratic Rep. Edie McClafferty. "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.

McGillvray's bill died on the house floor in a 60-40 vote.

Down south in Mississippi, a very different kind of divorce bill also was shot down. The house said "no, thank you" to a bill that would have given a spouse grounds for divorce if they have been away from an abusive situation for five years or longer. Backers of the bill say the bill would have made it easier for victims of abuse to file for divorce after fleeing an abusive situation from a spouse who woudn't grant them a divorce. The bill had passed earlier in the Senate but was defeated last Thursday on a vote of 81-39. Mississippi law currently allows an abandoned spouse to file for divorce but doesn't address when one spouse leaves but is denied a divorce by the other spouse.