South Dakota Divorce Law Change Voted Down By Legislature
Irreconcilable differences. The general definition is the "inability to agree on most things or on important things".- - Merriam Webster Dictionary
The legal definition is " substantial incompatibility between marriage partners that is a broad ground for, especially, no-fault divorce" - - Merriam Webster Dictionary
One South Dakota legislator from Rapid City believes that irreconcilable differences need to be removed from the reasons why South Dakota couples file for divorce.
Representative Tony Randolph says this one tenet of divorce law has made it too easy for couples to split, destroying families, which leaves children in poverty, battling drug problems, and struggling with mental issues.
Two lawyers testified that making this change would force couples to choose one of the other accepted statutes for divorce in our state, which include:
adultery, extreme cruelty (including bodily injury or grievous mental suffering), willful desertion, willful neglect, habitual intemperance, a conviction of a felony, chronic mental illness". - - State Bar of South Dakota
This would lead to couples having to participate in expensive, litigious trials that would be detrimental to both parties.
This singular legislative activity was particularly interesting to me for the simple reason that, at one time, Sioux Falls was the "Divorce Captial of the United States". People from all over the country came here for divorce because our laws were so lax. And just getting to Sioux Falls back in the 1800s was no picnic!
In the end, the South Dakota House Judiciary Committee voted down Mr. Randolph's proposal.
Sources: State Bar Association of South Dakota, Dakota Free Press, and Merriam-Webster Dictionary
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