When it comes to divorce in Utah, there is good news and bad news. The good news is the state ranks near the bottom of the nation in divorce rates. The bad news is divorce costs are still staggeringly high. Each year, there are nearly 10,000 divorces in Utah. If you do the math, it comes out to whopping $200 million in tax revenues spent on dealing with its various issues. To help reduce the number of divorces, state senators in Salt Lake City are now proposing a new bill that would encourage more couples to seek counseling and premarital education.
The effects of the proposed legislation would increase the price of marriage licenses. However, couples will the chance to regain the cost with a rebate by participating in these educational and counseling programs. The present cost of a marriage license Utah ranges from $25 to $50.
Republican state senator Allen Christensen introduced the bill, known as SB29. During a speech at Utah Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee, Christensen admitted he does not expect the bill to fix the problem. But he does believe it will have a positive effect. Among those backing Christensen’s bill is Alan Hawkins, who is the chairman of the Utah Marriage Commission. The 17-member advisory committee was created to provide education and counseling for couples to help maintain their marriages. Hawkins believes the bill can potentially save the state nearly $2 million in costs each year. He cited the breakup of families as a major contributor to poverty along with delinquency and poor academic achievement by youngsters. He believes all of these factors are often overlooked in divorce.
Many couples that enter marriage for the first time are unprepared for its challenges. There will be several life changing adjustments both socially and economically. Hawkins believes premarital education can help more couples make a smoother transition into married life. He claims couples who participate in these programs are 20 percent less likely to file for divorce during early “high-risk” years of marriage. Hawkins maintains that the best time to strengthen a marriage is to start before it begins.
But the truth is marriage is not a laboratory experiment. Different couples have different dynamics to their relationships. What may work for one couple may be totally wrong for another. Critics say premarital education does not guarantee a happy marriage. A recent Canadian study revealed these programs may have little to no impact. In fact, women who participated in the study reported lower satisfaction levels with their marriage.
Not every marriage is built to last. While many see divorce as a failure, it can also result in a new positive direction. Nobody deserves to live the rest of their life in an unhappy marriage. If you are considering ending your marriage, it is important to discuss the pros and cons with an experienced lawyer that can provide sound advice and legal representation. Salt Lake City divorce attorney Emy A. Cordano understands the challenges and obstacles facing those going through a divorce. As a someone who has gone through the process herself, she understands the perspective of her clients. She utilizes an aggressive and compassionate approach to helping place each client in the best position to succeed. To learn more if divorce is your best option, contact the law office of Emy A. Cordano and schedule a consultation to discuss your case.