Should married couples have a mandatory cooling-off period before they can file for divorce? And if so how long should the cooling off period be?
Society desperately needs to reverse the obscene divorce rate. I’m all for appropriate measures to discourage and prevent divorce. Mandatory cooling off periods sound like a good idea, but upon just a moment’s reflection it becomes apparent that they are not nearly as good an idea as they seem.
What sounds good about requiring cooling-off period: prevent people from making rash decisions and divorcing hastily.
The reality: by the time one spouse or or both spouses decide to divorce, it’s a decision that’s almost always been years in the making. Requiring a 90-day or 6-month or (good grief) a one-year cooling off period just makes the couple suffer longer. Experience bears this out: in over 20 years practicing divorce law, I have yet to see a cooling off period prevent a divorce. Not once.
Besides, if divorce proceedings are commenced and then the parties think better of divorcing, then can always reconcile and dismiss the divorce action. Furthermore, even if a couple divorces and then regrets it, they have the option of either A) moving to set aside the divorce (which means the divorce decree is treated as if it was never entered) or B) reconciling and remarrying.
The intention behind a cooling off period is laudable, but it’s a “solution” that doesn’t work and isn’t needed.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277