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When I ran for delegate many years ago, part of my platform was to reform the Virginia divorce laws. I tried to argue that the long separation periods and endless litigation acted as a wheel to run over women and children. Well – nothing’s really changed. It still takes a year of separation to finish a divorce.

Now I am not for easy divorce. But as a good libertarian should, and based on my legal experience, long separation periods don’t hold people together. it just creates instability. I once knew a woman who was separated from her husband for seven years and was in a serious relationship with another man. So, the divorce laws do not hold people together.

So, let’s do on the state level what needs to be done to take divorce as much as possible out of the legal system, encourage agreement, empower judges to enact attorney’s fees for those who use the court system for revenge and hatred and get these separation periods shortened to say 30 or 60 days. I also would decriminalize adultery so as to get the Fifth Amendment out of the divorce courts. Seek ideas, my fellow Republicans and stop being afraid of the ‘easy divorce” label. Just like ending Prohibition does not mean you have to drink alcohol or encourage others to do so, reforming divorce laws does not mean you are for easy divorce!

Come up with some ideas and lets win back suburban women (and urban and rural ones, too!) AG Cuccinelli, call your office after you read this blog!

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)


  1. Jack Lee says:

    Shouldn’t your strong Christian faith and belief in Christian principles and doctrine encourage people to seek Christian Bible based counseling and thus override your faith in Libertarian doctrine that seems to promote quick easy access to divorce?

    Close to 2/3 of children already live w/o a Father in their home.

    • I appreciate the comment and the spirit it was given in! I am unwilling to impose state-required counseling before divorce. I think it is a bit like how some see some abortions: Not right but should be legal (with lots of restrictions).

      Yes you are probably right that close to 2/3 of kids live in a fatherless home. Another reason for the church to seek revival and renewal to Bible values in our land. If we have true revival, the lost will be saved and sanctified and many of the social issues like divorce will take care of themselves – people will see divorce as a last resort – not the first stop on the train.

      Thanks again, Jack for the reminder and I will continue to ponder this rebuke.


  2. Larnie Allgood says:

    The divorce laws may need some work but our big problem is reproductive rights. We lost the battle 47 years ago. We cannot continue to fight a battle we lost 47 years ago. We must support everyones legal rights or we will lose.

  3. The Quadfather says:

    It seems to me that that might be an acceptable idea, but a better idea would be to restructure welfare laws so that people don’t lose their benefits if they marry. As a landlord I have seen time and time again people “shacking up” because they don’t want to lose their benefits. The laws should be set up to encourage marriage. That is the best chance for families to get off the dole. It should also be restructured so that getting a minimum wage job doesn’t cause one to lose so much of their benefits that it is a net loss. Get people working and as salary improvements happen, the welfare just tapers away. Going to work should always be more profitable than not. No one should be able to say that getting a job is for suckers!


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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