Kansas Legislators Open 2 Days of Hearings on Marriage

Kansas lawmakers want to lower the state’s divorce rate.

The House Federal and State Affairs Committee on Wednesday conducted the first of two informational hearings on marriage called by the committee’s chairman, Rep. Steve Brunk. The Wichita Republican says the state has an interest in keeping marriages together.

Three people testified favor of reforms, suggesting the state provide counseling to couples seeking divorce. Glenn Stanton of the conservative organization Focus on the Family said married people are healthier and happier than their unwed peers and the social cost of divorce to the state is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Kansas courts have the option to mandate counseling only when the divorce involves children. The state does not have a mandatory waiting period for divorce petitioners.