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New Utah law establishes interesting divorce rule

While the following story does not involve South Carolina law, it is an important divorce story that could signal a growing trend across the United States. The state of Utah will now require any divorcing couples who have children under the age of 18 to go through a specialized divorce class early on in the divorce process. The class is meant to show the parents what kind of impact their split will have on their children. Once the class is taken, the legal process can move forward with judge's granting custody and financial orders.

The class was already required by Utah law before this new rule was passed -- but the update forces the class to be taken earlier in the process. The original rule was passed in 1994, which made Utah the first state to have such a law on the books in the U.S. 

Some believe that the rule is unnecessary, claiming that once a divorcing couple makes it to the point that they have to take the class, they will divorce anyway. While this will certainly be true for many couples, there could be some couples who are positively affected by the class and choose to put a halt to their divorce.

However, maybe the biggest weakness of this rule is that it could unnecessarily prolong the divorce process for many people. Just because you make the divorce process more difficult doesn't mean it will reduce the divorce rate -- nor does reducing the divorce rate mean that people are happier. If people want to get divorced, then they should be able to do it in the most expedient way possible. Putting up roadblocks just means it takes longer for a couple to achieve the solution to their problem.

Source: Washington Times, "Utah Gov. signs divorce measure into law," Associated Press, April 3, 2014

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