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As I See It

Wisconsin should shorten waiting period for remarrying

Scott Robert Shaw



This past weekend, I proudly attended the marriage of my oldest son. It was a happy occasion, and I hope he and his new bride enjoy the rest of their lives in wedded bliss. But statistics suggest otherwise, with many marriages ultimately ending in divorce. Now some Wisconsin lawmakers are working on legislation that would make it easier for those who get divorced to remarry. Under current Wisconsin law, couples who divorce must wait six months before they can legally marry again. Only five other states require a waiting period of any length before divorcees can give love another try. And Wisconsin’s six month waiting period is the longest of any of those states. Until last year, Wisconsin’s waiting period before remarrying was a full year, so already the time has been shortened. Now there is an effort to shorten the waiting period to 60 days.There is no statistical evidence that forcing couples to wait before getting married leads to a happier marriage. Like Wisconsin, Oklahoma requires a six month waiting period, but has one of the highest divorce rates in the country. Iowa has no waiting period for remarrying after a divorce, but has one of the lowest divorce rates in the nation. Choosing to get married, or when to say “I do” is a personal decision, one that shouldn’t involve government. Wisconsin should join the majority of other states and remove this waiting period so those who think they have found true love can make their union official.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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