Most states have no-fault divorce laws, which means if you want out of your marriage you will get out even if you’re just bored. Personally, I find such lack of respect for the bonds of marriage deeply disturbing. When I took that oath, “till death do us part,” I meant it. I do not think divorce should never be an option. In the case of marital infidelity, severe physical abuse, and clear cases of abandonment, divorce is an option. Heck, because of my religious beliefs I’ll even represent clients who file for divorce in such cases (and represent anyone in defense of a divorce action). But let’s face it. Most of the time we divorce the mother or father of our kids for no other reason than we’re bored and selfish. Sorry, but that’s the truth, even in those cases where our piss-poor attitudes have turned the other spouse into an abuser of sorts.
Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.” Matthew 19:8 (NIV)
This article if for those of you in Kansas who are facing a divorce action filed by one of these selfish, callous people who nonetheless have a seed of goodness in his heart. There’s a statute virtually no divorce lawyer wants his or her client to know about. K.S.A. 23-2710 empowers the judge to order marital counseling either on his own motion (sua sponte) or motion of the parties. That’s right. Even if the other party doesn’t want to talk about it, the judge can make him! There’s a catch, though. “Neither party shall be required to submit to marriage counseling provided by any religious organization of any particular denomination.” So, if your selfish wife knows the pastor will try to browbeat her into submitting to God’s authority by not divorcing, she can refuse to talk to the pastor. You may end up with an areligious perhaps even religiously hostile counselor. But at least you don’t have to give in without a fight.
So if you are facing a divorce don’t let your attorney tell you he can’t ask the judge to order marital counseling. That’s a lie probably meant to keep you from resisting his desire to bill you lots more in legal fees.
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