North Carolina State Sen. Austin Allran

North Carolina lawmaker wants to impose a two-year waiting period for divorce

Republican state. Sen. Austin Allran's bill also mandates marriage counseling and a class on divorce and children

Katie McDonough
March 29, 2013 7:17PM (UTC)

Republican state Sen. Austin Allran wants to impose a two-year waiting period and mandatory marriage counseling for couples seeking a divorce in North Carolina. The “Healthy Marriage Act” would also force couples to attend a four-hour course on the impact of divorce on children.

The new requirements, according to the bill introduced on Thursday (emphasis Allran's):


 50‑6.  Divorce after separation of one yeartwo‑year waiting period on application of either party.

(a)        Marriages may be dissolved and the parties thereto divorced from the bonds of matrimony on the application of either party, if and when the party upon satisfying the following requirements before filing for divorce under this section:

(1)        The husband and wife have lived separate and apart for one year,and themet a two‑year waiting period. The spouse seeking the divorce shall give a written notice of intent to file for divorce to the other spouse at the beginning of the two‑year waiting period. The notice of intent shall be properly acknowledged in accordance with Chapter 10B of the General Statutes. During the two‑year waiting period, there is no requirement that the husband and wife live separate and apart.

(2)        During the two‑year waiting period, the husband and wife have each completed courses on (i) improving communication skills and (ii) conflict resolution. Courses required by this subdivision do not have to be completed together as a couple.

(3)        If a couple has a child, the husband and wife have each completed a course of at least four hours on the impact of divorce on children.






Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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