Extending the Waiting Period

The current RCW 26.09.030 requires that parties wait until ninety days after the filing of a petition before a decree of dissolution can be entered. There is a  bill currently under consideration in the state Senate, seeking to change the waiting period from ninety days to one year. According to this  Seattle Times article, the bill was heard by the Senate on Friday. Another provision of the bill would require that court-issued divorce handbooks be modified to include the benefits of reconciliation. Supporters, according to the Times article, believe that extending the waiting period could result in more reconciliations and thus less divorces. Opponents, again according to the Times, claim that the law is paternalistic.

In our experience, by the time people are ready to file for divorce their minds and hearts have been through a thoughtful and lengthy decision making process. While it is difficult, they have decided that ending their marriage is the best next step. Requiring that it take longer to take the next step is unduly stalling their lives, and the lives of their children.

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