Controversial divorce bill in Oklahoma moves forward
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - An Oklahoma lawmaker wants the so-called guilty party in a divorce to pay up.
For example, if a woman proves in court her husband is impotent, she'll automatically get 75 percent of everything they own.
That goes for any grounds for fault in a divorce besides incompatibility.
"This is a ruse, this is a bad bill, and it's poorly thought out," Rep. Collin Walke says, "One of the grounds for fault divorce in the state of Oklahoma is impotence. So if a woman goes into court and proves her husband is impotent, she gets 75 percent of the marital estate."
"If people think they can build a case and want to go that route, then they can go that route," Rep. Travis Dunlap said.
Rep. Dunlap wrote the bill.
Most couples cite incompatibility as reason for a divorce when they file their paperwork.
Dunlap wants to make the option tougher.
"We're making people really consider the consequences of divorce on the community," Rep. Dunlap said.
If a couple chooses to use incompatibility, Dunlap wants to make them wait at least six months before the divorce is granted.
He also wants to add mandatory marriage counseling during that time.
"This bill I think strengthens people's ability to fight for their marriages where at least one party wants to continue to work on it," Rep. Dunlap said.
Divorce attorneys Newschannel 4 spoke with said this bill will make an emotional process even tougher and absolutely drive up costs for the people involved.
"That's money that can be used for the child. Put it in an education savings account, use it for his car, use it for college, whatever. But don't use it for fighting against each other in a court of law. That's absurd," Rep. Walke said.
The bill passed out of committee Tuesday with a vote of 7 to 5.