Since we’re talking about marriage this week, a bill filed in the Senate Thursday proposed to extend North Carolina’s divorce waiting period from one year to two and require counseling during that time period.

Currently, North Carolina requires a couple to be separated and live apart for one year before a final divorce is granted, if it’s a no-fault divorce. This bill would require a two-year waiting period, get rid of the living separate requirement, and require the couple to complete courses in communication and conflict resolution.

If the couple has a child, they have to complete a four-hour-or-more course on how divorce affects children.

North Carolina’s divorce rate in 2011 was 37,000, as reported to the Centers for Disease Control. That’s down from 46,000 in 2001. Overall, the divorce rate nationally is decreasing.

Sen. Austin Allran, R-Catawba, is the sponsor. Read the bill here.