Utah’s Divorce Classes Featured on a National Stage; New Legislation May Pass

by Norris Law Group on March 3, 2014

11542130_sAnnie Knox of Associated Press recently released an article about Utah’s mandated courses that couples who intend to divorce must take before their divorce can be granted. On February 25, ABC News picked up this article and published it nationally.

Knox writes that Utah was the first state in the nation to require that divorcing couples complete a seminar before Utah courts will finalize a divorce, beginning in 1994.  Over time, this seminar has grown into the two-hour, $55 course.

Utah State Rep. Jim Nielson (R-Bountiful) has sponsored a new bill that proposes a requirement that divorcing couples take at least part of the course earlier on in the divorce process. He hopes that taking the course earlier may further reduce the divorce rate, especially among couples with children. Nielson is quoted: “If you’ve gotten so far down the road that you feel like you’re pretty much done, you’re not going to rethink something that you’ve spent that long moving toward.” Nielson’s measure has a groundswell of support in Utah and is seen as being likely to pass, even over objections from those who say it will only worsen a divorce process already fraught with complications.

Utah isn’t the only state discussing measures that may make it divorce more difficult. The Oklahoma Legislature is considering a proposal that would lengthen the divorce waiting period to at least six months. North Carolina proposed a bill in 2013 that would extend the divorce waiting period to two years. In 2012, Colorado legislators considered a measure asking couples to wait at least a year.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the area of divorce. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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