Child abuse bill could help families in divorce process

Published: Apr. 22, 2019 at 9:03 PM CDT
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A new bill may soon make divorce cases involving child abuse a lot different. It would take out mandatory counseling, speeding up the process.

Amanda Rex-Johnson authored the bill and helped create the legislation. In the event of child abuse, Rex-Johnson said this bill will make the divorce process easier and could help save taxpayer dollars.

The bill passed through the Senate unanimously last week after passing through the House earlier this year.

Iowans are required to go through counseling over a 60-day period to make a divorce final. House File 719 would eliminate that requirement when child abuse is involved. Right now, Iowa law only allows exceptions in domestic violence and elder abuse cases.

Rex-Johnson said, after personally going through a divorce case like this, she thinks the bill would only be a benefit.

"I think it would be rather traumatic to have to sit in a room and try to resolve the issues that led to the divorce," said Rex-Johnson. "I don't think those issues really can be resolved."

The bill now goes to Governor Reynolds for her approval.

Families United Action Network, a non-profit, registered in support of the bill.

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