Divorce and Temporary Separation Education is Mandatory in Utah

by Norris Law Group on December 30, 2013

logo_UtahCourts_150Did you know that Divorce and Temporary Separation Education is mandatory for all couples considering separation or divorce in the state of Utah? The Utah State Courts offer courses all over the state throughout each calendar year.

Utah Divorce Education and Orientation Courses

The education course is designed to help parents understand children’s potential reactions to divorce and how they can help their children adjust. Some of the topics included are:

  1. Grieving states common to divorce;
  2. How children experience divorce;
  1. Ways to communicate with a child about the divorced (what children need—and to not need—to know);
  2. Parental behavior that promotes good self-esteem in children;
  3. How and why conflict between parents creates stress for children;
  4. Why children need continued and meaningful relationships with both parents during and after a divorce; and
  5. The financial and legal aspects of divorce.

The orientation course educates parties about divorce and its alternatives and includes:

  • Resources to improve or strengthen the marriage;
  • Resources to resolve custody and support issues without filing for divorce;
  • The positive and negative consequences of divorce;
  • Procedural options in a divorce, including mediation, collaborative law, and litigation;
  • The divorce process; and
  • Post-divorce resources.


Parents with minor children who file a petition for divorce in Utah must attend an education course. Parents with minor children who file a petition for divorce or a petition for temporary separation in Utah must attend an orientation course. The court may require unmarried parents in a visitation or custody proceeding to attend the education course as well. If there are no minor children from the marriage, the courses are not required.

A final decree of Utah divorce will not be granted until both parties have completed the course requirements and have presented a certificate of course completion to the court. The courses should be completed as soon as possible, but no later than 60 days after filing the petition (if you are the petitioner) and no later than 45 days after being served with notice of the course requirements (if you are the respondent).

The courses are fee-based, and it may be possible to complete the courses via DVD.

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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