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Study investigating divorce impact on Okla. children, taxpayers

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate Health and Human Services Committee is looking to determine the impact of divorce on Oklahoma children and taxpayers.

Official said the interim study will look at reducing the divorce rate in Oklahoma.

Sen. Rob Standridge, vice-chair of the committee, requested the study to examine how reducing the divorce rate can help the state’s children succeed while saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

“Oklahoma continues to land near the top of the state rankings for divorce, while studies indicate that children have a far better chance to succeed when their parents stay together,” Standridge said, R-Norman. “Recent data show that states spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars each year to deal with the impact of divorce and family breakup.  As Oklahoma continues to face budget challenges, and as we look for ways to help our children flourish, it seems wise that this committee take a closer look at what we can do to reverse the trend of unnecessary divorce.”

Sen. Standridge said the study will include input from experts on family and child well-being.

According to a release, the committee will also hear perspectives from the faith community and personal accounts of growing up with divorce.

“It is my hope that the study will give our committee and the Legislature a better understanding of the impact of divorce in Oklahoma,” Standridge said.  “Additionally, studies like this give us an opportunity to discuss how we might help children while reducing costs to taxpayers.”

The study will be at 9 a.m., in Room 419-C, at the Capitol Tuesday.