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Lawmakers Looking For Way To Make Private Divorce Possible

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- State lawmakers are looking into changing the way people get a divorce in Minnesota.

The "Cooperative Private Divorce" proposal would give couples the option to end a marriage outside of the court system.

Couples would make divorce agreements without seeing a judge.

It's got the backing of DFL Rep. John Lesch and Sen. Sandy Pappas.

They don't expect to hold hearings on the bill this session, but one family therapist sees the need for reform.

"Divorce does not have to be a contest where two people hire separate agents of individual interests and ultimately fight it out in court or avoid court and still do a battle and contest," said Bill Doherty, of the University of Minnesota's Department of Family Social Sciences. "This can be cooperative. This can be private."

Supporters say private divorce would save people a lot of money.

However, it would also leave the current system in place if someone wants to divorce the old-fashioned way.

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