Archive for Friday, February 6, 2015

Kansas lawmakers to hold informational hearings on marriage

February 6, 2015, 5:13 p.m. Updated February 6, 2015, 10:53 p.m.

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— A Kansas legislative committee has scheduled two days of informational hearings next week on the subject of marriage, but one committee member said the focus would be more about divorce.

Rep. Jan Pauls, R-Hutchinson, who serves on the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, said one of the key questions to be addressed is whether Kansas has made it too easy for couples to get divorced, especially in cases that do not involve domestic violence.

"Some people have suggested it would be helpful to have requirements of counseling, or extended or longer waiting periods, as long as it doesn't involve domestic violence or problems like that," Pauls said.

Kansas is what's considered a "no fault" divorce state, which means that either party in a marriage can petition for divorce, and that person does not have to prove that there are legal grounds for it beyond "incompatibility."

Kansas also does not have a mandatory waiting period before a divorce can be granted, and it does not require couples to go through counseling before a divorce. Judges do have the discretion to order counseling, and in some counties they do so routinely, especially in cases that involve the custody of minor children.

"I think what's being discussed is the idea that it might be helpful to have some people wait because sometimes it's a problem that can be worked out," Pauls said. "Sometimes it's kind of in the heat of the moment, someone wants out, and if they go and start taking assets ... Some of the things that occur, how someone gets to the courthouse first and starts clearing out accounts."

Among the groups expected to present information, she said, is Focus on the Family, a Colorado-based organization that describes itself as, "a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive."

In recent years, lawmakers have considered proposals for what are called "covenant marriages," which are voluntary arrangements that require premarital counseling as well as marital counseling, and only limited allowable grounds for divorce.

None of those proposals has ever passed, and Pauls said she is not aware of any efforts underway to raise the issue again this year.

She also said she does not believe next week's hearings will be a springboard to reintroduce the so-called "religious freedom" bill that passed the House last year but died in the Senate. That bill would have given legal protection to anyone who refuses, on religious grounds, to take part in or recognize same-sex marriages.

Comments

Sko Hayes 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm not sure why the party of smaller government thinks the government needs to interfere in people's private matters.

Gary Williams 2 years, 3 months ago

Sko Writes I'm not sure why the party of smaller government thinks the government needs to interfere in people's private matters. Gary Writes Same here, I have friends that are republicans and are always talking about smaller Government then they turn around and say this garb. I tell them the GOP is hypocrites they need to quit talking about small Government when they want to keep adding these stupid restrictions. I am a Christian though I don't think I have to broadcast it to the entire world for self gain. The Republican Party seems to throw their own personal convictions on others which is very wrong; I believe we need to keep a separation between church and state. The founding fathers never intended for any religious movement to interfere with the state or the State to interfere with the church. Their thinking actually contradicts the freedom of the constitution
I wish they would get off this big religious ego trip.

Philipp Wannemaker 2 years, 3 months ago

Once more, the Tea drinking right wing nutcases want to control everything. All because the christian nutcases control them.

Gary Williams 2 years, 3 months ago

Phillip writes Once more, the Tea drinking right wing nutcases want to control everything. All because the christian nutcases control them.

Gary responds I agree with your thoughts about Tea drinking right wing nutcases, but please understand some of us Christians don't follow such hypocrisy in the Christian church. I also will mention there are some professing Christians that will embrace their personal convictions within the political arena that should not be. I am really sick of these professing Christians whom have given the Christian faith a bad reputation.Just to let many know I am a Christian but I don't belong to such a hypocritical church group.
My Father was one dye hard Democrat until his death, He being a Christian as well could not stand how Hypocritical the religious folks in that party was. I have a better understanding now daddy, I know what you mean.

Kate Rogge 2 years, 3 months ago

They seem to think that divorce is the first and only option you think of when your spouse fails to empty the dishwasher or burns dinner. Divorce is a hard choice. No one wants to fail in their marriage, but some marriages are too irredeemably toxic to mend. The idea that adults can be sent to their room until they're buddies again is just too ridiculous to countenance (let alone make into law).

I think the recent spate of stupid social engineering law proposals coming out of Topeka are just red meat paybacks to those supporters who turned out to vote and only want to control their neighbors' lives. Nothing to do with taxes or budgets or services. Just some laws making it illegal to have a thought or conclusion that differs from their own.

Gary Williams 2 years, 3 months ago

Kate writes They seem to think that divorce is the first and only option you think of when your spouse fails to empty the dishwasher or burns dinner. Divorce is a hard choice. No one wants to fail in their marriage, but some marriages are too irredeemably toxic to mend. The idea that adults can be sent to their room until they're buddies again is just too ridiculous to countenance (let alone make into law).

Gary responds The constitution gives us freedom to live as we please as long as we don't bring harm one another, it does not say to interfere with someone’s personal life. Republicans you need to take care of your own back yard and leave others be, stay out of our lives.

Gary Williams 2 years, 3 months ago

As the republicans took office in January there has been nothing but over stepping into people’s lives. Just imagine what it will be like if we end up with a republican president, They will be trying to create laws as to live up to their standards, I mean personal convictions in a religious sense. I don't need a party telling me how to live my life; God has given me freedom to live as I please without your religious egos

Andy Anderson 2 years, 3 months ago

Marriage ritual is so passe'. But, there are still people that need the approval of a third party, a third party that will never set foot in your flat, to bonify their living together.

Misha Thompson 2 years, 3 months ago

Marriage is a choice between two people to announce to society that they have chosen to be bonded together to share a life in matters both legal and personal. Just as it's not Kansas Republicans place to try to force people who don't want to stay together to stay together, it's not really your place to tell people that their choice to marry isn't a worthwhile decision between them.

James Howlette 2 years, 3 months ago

Didn't this go over like a lead balloon last year? Why do they think people want to have big government manage their private lives this year?

Doug Weston 2 years, 3 months ago

It's about time the hypocrites do something meaningful to really "protect the sanctity of marriage." Could never understand how "Christians" will march on Washington to deny a loving couple the right to spend their lives together, but turn a blind eye to the 50% divorce rate among heterosexual married couples.

Andy Anderson 2 years, 3 months ago

It's not "Divorce". It's conscious uncoupling.......heh

Consider this.

But here is the thing: It is no longer true that the divorce rate is rising, or that half of all marriages end in divorce. It has not been for some time. Even though social scientists have tried to debunk those myths, somehow the conventional wisdom has held.

About 70 percent of marriages that began in the 1990s reached their 15th anniversary (excluding those in which a spouse died), up from about 65 percent of those that began in the 1970s and 1980s. Those who married in the 2000s are so far divorcing at even lower rates. If current trends continue, nearly two-thirds of marriages will never involve a divorce, according to data from Justin Wolfers, a University of Michigan economist (who also contributes to The Upshot).

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/02/upshot/the-divorce-surge-is-over-but-the-myth-lives-on.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=1

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 years, 3 months ago

Maybe they just figure they can cut funding to courts this way. Couples wanting to get a divorce will just go to another state to divorce. You don't have to get a divorce in the state where you live, just like you don't have to get married in the state where you live.

This could be quite the money maker for lawyers in surrounding states. They could set up a quick, easy way to help people get divorced. Even more money flowing out of Kansas. Of course, most Kansas lawyers by now have set up their firms to be the kind of business that doesn't pay income tax anyway, so revenue loss is neutral. But think of the sales taxes that Missouri, for example, could bring in. There might be 2 separate hotel rooms, meals, shopping by divorced couples. They might even go out and celebrate their divorce in Missouri.

And think of the fees that small towns along the Oklahoma, Nebraska and Colorado borders could charge for using their court rooms for divorce proceedings. Definitely a boom for other states. I'm sure they will be happy with this bill.

Kevin Millikan 2 years, 3 months ago

The problem is the state representatives that were voted into office. They believe this is the type of laws you wanted when you voted them in. While the rest of the country is starting to thrive, Kansas is looking at major cuts everywhere for the foreseeable future.

How can you do that to your children?

Kim Murphree 2 years, 3 months ago

Wow...it took the Irish years to allow divorce and alot of people standing around in chains in protest...that's what this reminds me of...where on earth do these people get off thinking they have the right to limit choices people make about their families??? Unfathomable....these people are from medieval times....they will prevent more marriages than stop divorces. Wow. Someone tell them we do NOT WANT the 1950's again.

Peter Macfarlane 2 years, 3 months ago

Who was it that said: "Nobody's life, liberty, or property is safe as long as the legislature is in session."

Radar Callaway 2 years, 3 months ago

I do not know who said this, but wow, is it ever true!

Philipp Wannemaker 2 years, 3 months ago

Definitely applies in Kansas now that the Tea drinking GOP religious nutcases are in total control.

Gary Williams 2 years, 3 months ago

Phillip writes Definitely applies in Kansas now that the Tea drinking GOP religious nutcases are in total control. Gary responds Phillip thanks for referring them as religious nutcases, not Christians though many refer themselves as so. My dad would not go to church unless it had a pastor that happens to be a democrat and the majority of the congregation was democrats that is how serious he was with the party he belonged to. I am not surprised he hasn't haunted these religious republicans and scared some sense into them

Gary Williams 2 years, 3 months ago

Eileen Jones writes I'd like to see a breakdown of their own statistics - how many marriages, divorces, adulterous affairs, abortions, out-of-wedlock children, unhappy spouses, and so on. Let's see if they are qualified to cast the first stone...

Gary responds Hey look Eileen, they all threw down several stones, and I noticed Brownback had 5 or more of those stones. Religious Pharisees, Leave people alone get the logs out of your own eye before you try to remove them out of others. Just leave people be OK.

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