Divorce bill targets human 'roadkill'
Divorce bill targets human 'roadkill'
 Andrew Duffy
The Ottawa Citizen

    Liberal MP Paul Szabo introduced a private member's bill yesterday to make marriage counselling a mandatory stop on the road to divorce.

    The Mississauga MP says that avenue is too easy to navigate and is littered with too much human "roadkill."

    "For me, the issue is children first," Mr. Szabo told a news conference. "And secondly, the people who have this breakdown in  their relationship have to get on with their own lives. We don't want any roadkill, whether it's the children or anyone else."

     Mr. Szabo's bill would amend the Divorce Act to require all couples to take marriage counselling before a divorce is granted, unless mental or physical cruelty is alleged in the case.

    The bill, which is not sponsored by any member of the Liberal cabinet, has little chance of being passed.

     Mr. Szabo, however, said he wants simply to raise public awareness about the destructive fallout from divorce and promote discussion about possible solutions: "The family is in crisis in Canada and the true victims of divorce are the children."

     Mr. Szabo said family breakup plays an important role in a wide range of social ills, including child poverty, school difficulties, youth crime, personal bankruptcies, even homicide. He pointed to the O.J. Simpson case as proof: "If you have to look at something, look  at what happened there."
    "It's important that counselling take place to make sure people understand the consequences of their actions to their children," Mr.Szabo said, "and to look for opportunities to defuse the explosive acrimony that is there in 25 per cent of all divorce cases, the divorces from hell."


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