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Minnesota government strives to curb divorce rate

Oklahoma lawmakers are courageously confronting a seemingly hopeless battle. The state has recently reinforced its commitment to reduce the local divorce rate along with the number of children placed in foster care. While many see these problems as societal epidemics that are beyond the power of a local government to fix, others disagree.

One of them, Bill Doherty of the University of Minnesota, has explained how governmental programs in the Land of 10,000 Lakes has actually resulted in an appreciable number of couples willing to give their relationship another chance. Minnesota and other states are hopeful that these governmental programs will reduce the number of broken homes, which, in turn, will reduce the need for governmental assistance and foster care for children.

The goals, though noble, have led some to criticize the government for meddling in personal family matters. However, the days of the state standing idly by as families break apart are gone. As a result, there are various legal requirements those seeking a divorce must understand, some of which are designed to keep the family unit intact or discourage parties from seeking a divorce.

Each and every piece of family law legislation was enacted with a purpose. However, when these laws are read out of context, they can be difficult for a layman to comprehend For instance, newly proposed legislation might require a 90-day "cooling off" period for divorcing parties with children, during which they would receive education and perhaps reconsider their options. It is pieces of legislation such as these that the state hopes will curb its divorce rate and keep families together.

Source: The Oklahoman, "Government efforts to bend the curb on divorce, foster care," Sept. 22, 2013

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