Supporters of the “Second Chance Act” defended the proposal at the Brookings Institution, outlining some of the potential benefits for troubled couples who wait before taking action in order to avoid a “preventable” divorce, The Washington Times reported.

According to the newspaper, the legislation would provide a “cooling off” period and classes on reconciliation as part of a package that would deter couples from getting a divorce.

“We are suggesting some modest reforms because we believe that there are preventable divorces, and that children are most harmed by those divorces that are preventable,” William J. Doherty, family social science professor at the University of Minnesota, told the Times.

According to the newspaper, the legislation arose due to an outcry from the American public over the number of divorces in the country. The move was also part of an effort to protect children who often get caught in the middle of their parent’s split.

In an editorial for the Washington Post, Doherty and former judge Leah Ward Sears noted that many couples get divorced due to a period of drifting apart, and research shows that these instances can be the most harmful to children.

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