Bill would ban 'incompatibility' divorces

Published On: Feb 07 2014 09:00:45 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 07 2014 10:00:28 PM CST

Kansas lawmakers are debating a bill that would ban "irreconcilable differences" as grounds for divorce.

Republican John Bradford of Lansing introduced the bill in the Kansas House. Supporters of the measure say it's too easy to get a divorce in Kansas.

Decades ago, couples were only granted a divorce if a spouse did something wrong. But the new legislation would require the person filing for divorce to submit a valid reason, beyond incompatibility.

Lori Smith's divorce was finalized Friday. She said she didn't want to end her marriage and hoped the bill passes.

"When he originally filed on me it was irreconcilable differences, and when I went to court today it said incompatible," Smith said.

Morgan O'Hara, Wichita attorney, said no-fault divorce is now the norm. She said if the person filing has to prove their spouse is to blame, cases will become complicated and ugly.

"I think it may become everybody's business if this bill passes because you're going to be going to court and the fingers will be pointing back and forth," O'Hara said.

Smith said divorce ruins families, and marriage is too important to be able to get out of so easily.

"You fight for your marriage, you fight to keep your family together," Smith said. "If something goes wrong you stick together."

Rep. Bradford did not return calls to Eyewitness News Friday.