(Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

(Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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In mid-November, while still at a four month impasse over budgetary issues, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed House Bill 380 by a vote of 191-6.

For the past two years, the Family Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association has played an important role in having House Bill 380 introduced and ultimately supported in such large numbers by legislators in both parties.

If passed in the Senate, and signed into law, the legislation will reduce the statutory waiting time period in “no fault” divorce cases from two years to one year.

In 2013, as I began a one year term as Chair of the PBA Family Law Section, I tried and to see if the Section could convince the legislature to revisit the one year waiting period that had been rejected previously. Part of the initiative was to address the psychological impact on children in divorce cases that take many years to resolve. I appointed a Task Force with two former Section Chairs as the leaders: Carol Behers of Allegheny County and Mary Cushing Doherty of Montgomery County.

In September 2014, and then again in January 2015, Representative Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) introduced what ultimately became H.B. 380. Notably, both times it was introduced, it quickly had up to 30 co-sponsors from legislators in both parties.

House Bill 380 now makes its way to the Senate for consideration and further action. The PBA Task Force will be going back to Harrisburg to continue to advocate for the change.

This post was authored by Dan Clifford. Dan is an experienced family law attorney who has been recognized for his work in the area of international child custody. Dan can be reached at dclifford@wglaw.com.