Consider This: Divorce bill would allow victims of abuse to escape

Updated: Mar. 13, 2017 at 3:51 PM CDT
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MISSISSIPPI (WDAM) - Recently, a House of Representatives committee chair, Andy Gipson, allowed a bill that would have added domestic abuse as grounds for divorce in Mississippi to die in committee.

He argued that the legislature should not pass measures "opening the floodgates" to more divorces. The bill had already passed in the Senate. And currently, Mississippi has 12 grounds for divorce, but domestic violence is not one of the 12.

Thankfully, after facing backlash for killing the bill, the House unanimously passed a measure that would allow abused spouses to more easily get a divorce.  Currently, victims of domestic violence can petition for divorce on grounds of "habitual cruel and inhuman treatment" ? but experts said it is difficult for victims to prove the abuse was "habitual," and someone else has to corroborate their claims.

The amended bill, Senate Bill 2680, clarifies that only one instance of abuse is needed, and that the victim can testify as the sole witness. The bill was sent back to the Senate where the original Senate version was revived and unanimously passed.

Additionally, the only two states lacking a true no-fault divorce ground are South Dakota and Mississippi.

Consider This: A bill to provide abused spouses access to a divorce is long past due. No victim of abuse should be denied a way to escape.

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