Bill For Faster Divorce Process Passes SC House Committee -

Bill For Faster Divorce Process Passes SC House Committee

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Bill to shorten divorce wait times passes House Committee Bill to shorten divorce wait times passes House Committee

When it comes to the divorce process, Philip Masonoff knows it well. He says he’s been divorced twice, and both times he says the one-year separation required in South Carolina before a divorce helped.

“It allowed us to make sure it was the right thing to do especially when there is children involved, property involved and stuff like that,” said Masonoff.

Lawmakers are now re-examining that requirement. State Representative Bruce Bannister (R-Greenville) is sponsoring a bill that would change the separation requirement from one year to 150 days.

“They could resolve custody, resolve property, have everything done, live in their separate lives in separate homes,” said Rep. Bannister. “But they still could be tied together because legally we don’t recognize the divorce until the year is up.”

The change is for no-fault divorces only. No fault divorces are those that don't meet requirements of adultery, physical abuse, being deserted or drunkenness. It’s basically a couple choosing to go their separate ways.

We checked with Landa Basham, Ed.S, MFT, with Skylyn Counseling in Spartanburg. She says when it comes to divorce, most times when a couple chooses to file they have exhausted all other options.

“It is really healthier to get it over sooner if you cannot repair it,” said Basham.

She adds many times a faster divorce process is healthier for the couple and any children involved. However, others believe when it comes to ending a marriage the process shouldn't be a quick one.

“It just makes it too easy,” said Masonoff. “Getting married is easy. It's staying married that's the trick."

A house committee voted in favor of this bill 12-11. The bill will now go on to the full House for a vote. If passed in the House and Senate, it then goes to voters because it's a state constitutional change.

We checked and waiting periods before a divorce vary state to state from no waiting to one month to one year.

In North Carolina there is a one-year waiting period. Georgia has no waiting period at all.

Attorneys say the wait period allows for reconciliation, investigation of finances or preparation for trial.


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