Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP

Should states legally require Marriage 101 courses?

Whether in Massachusetts or elsewhere, divorce happens. Society tends to see divorce as a failure, despite families all around the country that prove ending a marriage can be beneficial for all involved.

Maybe it is the perception that divorce is supposedly a failure that is behind a controversial legislative idea out of Colorado. A proposal suggests that fewer marriages would end in divorce if only couples went through special education before saying "I do."

Many who get married in a church or by clergy members might be required or at least urged to go through some pre-marriage counseling before-hand. The legislative proposal goes further by asking that all couples who want to get married be required to go through several hours of counseling. 

First-timers looking to be married would be required to take 10 hours of marriage classes; second-timers would need 20 hours; third-timers would need 30 hours. The basic argument behind the proposal is that education equals preparation for marriage and potential parenthood. Preparation for the difficulties of marriage would theoretically reduce the chance of divorce. 

Would this legislation reduce the rate of divorce if passed in Colorado or other states? Without it already in place, it is impossible to say whether education is the key to a happy, healthy, life-long marriage.

History suggests, however, that people want what they want. People change. And when people within a marriage change and are no longer able to find happiness together, they have the right to find happiness elsewhere. Sometimes, divorce and a family law attorney with a client's best interests in mind, are crucial to finding happiness again.

Source: Today, "Can you learn to wed? Law proposed for pre-marriage classes," Eun Kyung Kim, Jan. 22, 2014

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