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Published February 11, 2013, 01:42 PM

North Dakota bill requires wait, counseling before divorce

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota lawmaker says parents seeking divorce should have to wait at least six months and undergo mandatory counseling before breaking up.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota lawmaker says parents seeking divorce should have to wait at least six months and undergo mandatory counseling before breaking up.

Rep. Naomi Muscha told the House Judiciary Committee on Monday that it's easier to get divorced in North Dakota than it is to get married. She says the bill is aimed at helping parents understand responsibilities before the split is final.

Bismarck divorce attorney Sherry Mills Moore says many couples seeking divorce have already had counseling. She says delaying a divorce leaves children in limbo.

Moore also says counseling is expensive and many residents don't have easy access to counseling services.

A similar measure failed in the Legislature two years ago. That bill required a yearlong wait and 10 hour-long counseling sessions before the split was final.

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