University of Denver

Valentine's Day Sparks Divorce Debate

Former Senior Director

Inspired by the spirit of a holiday devoted to love, the New York Times’ Room for Debate editorial board hosted a lively discussion that asks: “Should a divorce be more difficult to obtain? Or is the process arduous enough already?"

Beverly Willett, a writer, lawyer, and co-chair of the Coalition for Divorce objects to the “me-centered approach” that she claims no-fault divorce laws have fostered. Beverly is a strong supporter of the Parental Divorce Reduction Act, which would require parents to attend marriage education classes and to take an eight-month time-out before filing for divorce in the hopes of reducing unnecessary divorces.

She is countered by Vicki Larson, a journalist who writes about marriage and divorce. Larson questions who gets to decide whether a divorce is “unnecessary” and suggests that resources would be better spent helping people make smarter decisions when they marry and educating divorcing parents about how to co-parent.

At various points in the discussions, Willett and Larson both take aim at the current in-court process and the toll it takes on families that are already vulnerable.

**Late last year, Vicki Larson wrote about our article, “It Is Just Good Business: the Case for Supporting Reform in Divorce Court.”