Wisconsin residents who get divorced would no longer be required to wait six months before getting married again, under a bill making its way through the Capitol.
Current state law requires someone to wait half a year after a divorce has been finalized before they can get married again. Wisconsin is one of only six states to have a so-called “cooling off” period in place, which comes in addition to a four month waiting period to complete divorce proceedings.
State Representative Cindi Duchow (R-Town of Delafield) told a legislative committee Tuesday that the additional waiting period discriminates against people who just want to get on with their lives. “There were no laws broken, these individuals simply made a difficult choice and ultimately decided to end their marriage.”
Duchow is sponsoring a bill that would eliminate the six month wait, allowing someone to get married again as soon as their divorce is finalized. “States should not be in the business of telling someone when it’s appropriate time to remarry,” she argued. “The individuals understand their feelings and emotions better than anyone else, and the decision needs to be left up to the individual.”
Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling testified in opposition to the bill, arguing that the wait is intended to give people time to reflect on their decision, rather than immediately rushing in to another marriage. “The policy needs to be protective of the best situation,” she said.
The bill is currently being considered by an Assembly committee.