SEATTLE -- Just in time for Valentine's Day, there's new legislation that seeks to make it more difficult to get a divorce in Washington state.
Senate Bill 5614 would extend the waiting period for divorces from the current 90 days to a full year. It's been dubbed the Family Second Chances Act.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Don Benton and nine others, states in part:
Divorce causes poverty, juvenile delinquency and lower scholastic achievement among children of our state. Even a modest reduction of divorce in our state could be beneficial to children.
The idea is that increasing the waiting period for a divorce will empower couples to think long and hard about their decision and possibly find ways to reconcile.
I think maybe it's not such a good idea. I think sometimes it's best to move on, said Rachel Martin, who owns Ballard Blossom. If you know it's not right, then why make someone drag it out for a year, you know?
Martin and her staff are in the business of keeping couples together. They also witness the impulsive decision often made in relationships, day in and day out.
The other day we did. We had someone call who wanted to send dead flowers, a staffer said. He was really upset with his ex. His ex, I think, wanted to get a divorce or something like that.
In that regard, they understand why people might need a bit more time to contemplate a life-changing decision.
That might not be such a a bad idea, because they might change their minds six months from now, said customer Daniel Turner.
Seattle divorce attorney Bruce Becker said the current 90 day waiting period seems like a reasonable cooling off period for couples. He's curious to see how the bill does in Olympia.
It's set to go before a senate committee Friday -- the day after Valentine's Day.