Premarital Counseling in Utah Seeks to Curb Divorce

Premarital Counseling | Divorce | Utah Family Law Attorney

Utah Family Law Attorneys Are Busy

Most people in Utah are aware that the divorce rate is high in the Salt Lake area and the rest of the state.  With nearly have half of all marriages ending in divorce, many people believe the institution of marriage is threatened.  The high divorce rate caused the Utah state legislature to take actions in hope to curb the ever growing rate of divorce.  It seems as though they felt Utah family law attorneys had enough work to stay busy.

Mandatory Premarital Counseling in Utah Seeks to Stop Divorce

In 1971, the Utah state legislature enacted a statute encouraging premarital counseling.  It felt that premarital counseling would help people understand the importance of marriage and would help them through difficult times in a relationship when divorce seems like the best answer.  The act allows boards of commissioners of counties, such as Salt Lake County, to require premarital counseling and to require premarital counseling prior to issuing a marriage license to people under 19 years old or to previously divorced individuals.  The purpose of the counseling is to make those thinking about marriage aware of problem areas in a marriage and suggest ways of resolving these problems.

Premarital counseling is not required where both parties are at least 19 years old and neither party has been previously divorced.  The statute does not apply to people unless both marriage applicants have physically resided in Utah for 60 days immediately preceding their application.  Premarital counseling may be fulfilled if a clergyman verifies a certificate that the marriage applicants have completed a course of premarital counseling approved by their church.

Premarital counseling can include many different types of counseling sessions including lectures, group counseling, individual counseling, and testing.  A county may not charge more than $10 for a counseling fee.  People who falsely represent they have complied with counseling requirements, or applies for a marriage license in another county which does not require premarital counseling for the purpose of evading the requirement, can be charged with a misdemeanor.  Evading premarital counseling is not worth a criminal charge.  Counseling may be inconvenient but may help people from ever needing a Utah divorce lawyer.

Premarital Counseling Doesn’t Work For Everyone

Even with premarital counseling, many marriages will end in divorce.  If you are one of these individuals, call a Utah family law attorney from Salt Lake Valley based Salcido Law Firm.  A Salcido Law Firm lawyer will help you through the difficult process of divorce and protect your rights under Utah’s family law.  Call 801.618.1331 to speak with a Utah divorce lawyer today.

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