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Our view: Divorce bills have merit

Published: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

While death and taxes are inevitabilities, the odds of divorce for married couples essentially is a coin flip.

According to U.S. Census data, about 60 percent of McHenry County residents are married with about 10 percent already divorced. Does that mean a large portion of couples in the county will wind up in divorce court at some point?

Marriage remains a key family institution. But, sadly, divorce is a reality for many.

And when it comes to divorce, whether the legal issues are about dividing marital assets or child custody, they can be difficult to navigate, overly contentious and expensive. Part of that is because emotions come into play in divorce moreso than a lot of other legal matters,

Two bills, House Bill 1029 and Senate Bill 31, co-sponsored by state Sen. Pam Althoff, R-McHenry, are trying to establish the Uniform Collaborative Law Act to help resolve divorce disputes through collaboration outside of the courtroom.

We think the ideas behind the legislation makes sense. We encourage thoughtful approaches to resolving such disputes. Any approach that would move divorce matters along more efficiently and with fewer court appearances is of benefit to all parties involved.

Litigation is costly both to the individual parties and the public, not to mention time-consuming and aggravating. When children are at the center of disputes, the process also can be damaging for the entire family.

Other states have passed similar laws, including Hawaii, Nevada, Ohio, Texas and Utah.

No one enters marriage wanting a divorce, and few anticipate the level of acrimony that might follow. But everyone deserves a reasonable resolution, which is what this legislation hopes to provide.

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