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Minnesotans' southerly neighbors consider new divorce law

Iowa's legislature is currently vetting a bill that would purportedly eliminate the state's no-fault divorce. Essentially, the current law has simplified the divorce process and allowed uncoupling to take a more streamlined path. Proponents of the bill suggest that this process has resulted in couples failing to give their relationship one last chance.

While an adult relationship is no one else's business, the proposed law would be limited to married couples with children under the age of 18. The real goal of the law, according to supporters, is to encourage families to try and stay together by working through their issues before deciding that a divorce is needed. Residents just north of these developments, in St. Paul, are wise to take notice.

Minnesota, like Iowa, is currently a no fault divorce state. Typically, that moniker is given to laws that eliminated the archaic system that required a spouse to show that the other had breached the marital contract. While Iowa is unlikely to revert to this model, the proposed law does have some aspects that resemble divorces of days gone by. The question is whether Minnesota will be swayed by similar movements.

Opponents to this type of law suggest that prolonging the inevitable can do more harm than good. These people point out that by the time couples reach therapy, 90% end up getting divorced anyway. Allowing for a streamlined split, they argue, is the best option. This logic, however, does not deter the proponents who see this as more of a moral issue. They are striving to do all they can to give children the benefits of a two-parent home.

Though both sides have respectable goals, there can be only one outcome. Meanwhile, Minnesotans do not have to fret about the efficiency of their divorce laws. Despite these debates, local rules allow couples to split in an amicable and well-organized process. Local St. Paul attorneys can help these divorcees through the progression. From ironing out the tax implications of a property division to securing parental rights in a child custody agreement, these experienced professionals can ensure that no matter is left uncovered.

Source: KIMT 3, "Bill to end 'no-fault' divorce," March 7, 2013

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