Colorado Lawmaker Proposes Cooling Off Period for Divorcing Parents

Senator Kevin Lunberg does not want the divorce rates to keep increasing in Colorado, so he has proposed a "cooling off period" for divorcing parents in his Parental Divorce Reduction Act that could last six months, and workshops that will explain why peo

By Josh D. Simon
Updated: February 26, 2015
divorce law and court case news

Thinking of divorcing? If you call Colorado home, have kids, and Sen. Kevin Lunberg (R-Berthoud) has his way, it’s going get tougher.

That’s because, if passed, Lunberg’s “Parental Divorce Reduction Act” would oblige parents to undergo an in-depth, multi-day workshop before they filed for divorce – one in which they’d presumably learn about the many reasons why untying the knot might not be the answer they, or their children, need to deal with their marital problems. And that’s just the start.

An even more groundbreaking aspect of the proposed bill is that spouses would be subject to what Lunberg calls a “cooling off” period, which would compel them to take time to, again presumably, think the matter through and consider other options. The duration of the proposed cooling off period remains undetermined, but suggestions are that it’ll be six months.

"When Colorado went to a no-fault system years ago, people said it was going to increase divorce and it has," Lunberg told Denver’s "We've made it too easy to bail out of marriage. It can happen in as quickly as 90 days. That's a pretty short period of time."

"I think [divorce] is extremely difficult and tough [on kids]," commented Dr. Larry Curry, a family and marriage counselor who supports the bill. "It's easier sometimes to get a divorce than it is to marry…As adults, we try to say they will get over it, they're young. But the bottom line is that it's a traumatic experience for a child."

Currently, Coloradans with children who file for divorce must take a 2-4 hour class on divorced parenting. Several other states have also proposed bills requiring counseling for divorcing parents, including Texas, New Mexico, Montana, Nebraska and Wyoming.

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January 10, 2012
Categories:  Legal Issues

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