Regarding Sen. Don Benton’s, R-Vancouver, Senate Bill 5614 proposing an extended waiting period for divorce: nice thought, ineffective solution. Once people file, it’s over. Elongating the 90 days to 365 makes no real difference. Actually, it gives the more devious participants extra time to plan their exodus.
If it’s the impact of divorce we’re actually trying to address here (poverty, juvenile delinquency, etc.)a better idea would be to remove the entire family law system from the adversarial arena altogether. Replace warring attorneys with financial geeks, wise counselors and mandatory arbitration if future tranquility is what people seek. Otherwise, the status quo, with its crowded dockets and crap-shoot results, will rule the day.
I say it’s time for real change in this area. For starters, put caps on all attorney fees over $5,000 without a show-cause hearing for more money. The contingency fee restriction didn’t really stem the tide so at least this would be a beginning. Trust me, phone calls would replace hearings in a heartbeat.
Barbara A. Peterson