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Should Couples Be Required to Attend Counseling Before They Can Marry or Divorce?

By Nottage and Ward on January 24, 2011

While this may not be a simple question to answer, the state of Wyoming will have to soon make a decision regarding whether couples who want to tie the knot or call it quits will have to pay for three hours of counseling before doing so. According to a Wyoming Tribune Eagle story, a bill has been introduced in Wyoming that would force couples to wait a year before being permitted to get a marriage license or a divorce decree if they decide not to pay for three hours of counseling.

The bill’s sponsor stated that the intention is to help couples better comprehend the consequences of life-changing decisions as well as help lower instances of children ending up in poverty due to a divorce. Although Wyoming law already requires that divorcing couples receive co-parent counseling before getting divorced, the new bill is the first to highlight ways for couples to deal with each other once the divorce is final. The proposal would allow a judge the ability to dismiss the counseling requirement for a divorce in which domestic violence is an issue.

It will be interesting to see whether state lawmakers approve the bill, especially since Wyoming was one of the top five states in 2007 for high divorce rates. The idea appears to be that if a couple discusses how they would handle money, communication, children, and conflict resolution before actually getting married, then their chances of staying married are higher than if they did not go to counseling. As noted by the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2004, Wyoming had the third-highest divorce rate, following Nevada and Arkansas.

Divorces are emotionally charged occurrences, which makes having an attorney on your side all the more important in ensuring that your rights are upheld and you receive a positive outcome. The Illinois divorce law firm of Nottage and Ward faces challenges for our clients straight-on and with an effective and strong game plan. To find out more about how we can help you with the proceedings surrounding your divorce in Illinois, contact us right away.

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