The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 04/20/07

The Georgia House, once again, has balked on a proposal that would require a couple with children to wait 120 days before they could obtain a final decree of divorce.

The state Senate late Thursday attached the four-month waiting period proposal for divorce to House Bill 369, a measure on child custody proceedings.

The Senate amendment also would require a divorcing couple with children to attend an education workshop on the effects of divorce on children led by marriage and family therapist, social worker or professional counselor.

Sen. Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg) has pushed for a longer waiting period for divorcing couples with children for the past two years. The measure cleared the Senate in 2005, but did not clear the House last year.

"This legislation is the right thing to do four our kids and for couples, and it’s the fiscally responsible way to address some of our most pressing social needs," Seabaugh told the Senate Thursday. "This is not about ideology or political parties, it’s about human well-being and the common good."

But lawmakers in the House stripped Seabaugh’s divorce proposal before passing HB 369 by a vote of 138-1 on Friday afternoon. The Senate approved HB 369 without the divorce amendment. Georgia law now requires a 30-day waiting period to obtain an uncontested divorce.

SOURCE: Atlanta Journal-Constitution