Under Utah divorce laws, parents who are divorcing or legally separating have a minor child; they must attend two Utah divorce education classes. The Utah family court will not grant a divorce decree or court order finalizing a divorce unless both parties have already submitted certificates of completion for the two courses described below. Here is some information to help parents going through the divorce process meet the state’s course requirements.
Required Course 1: Divorce Orientation
Why is the Divorce Orientation course required by the state? The course is designed to educate divorcing parents about common issues in divorce, divorce alternatives, and resources available for people during and after divorce. Some course topics include:
- Potential negative and positive effects of divorce.
- What to expect during the divorce process in Utah family court.
- Child custody and child support conflicts.
- Resources for divorced people in Utah.
The party who initiates the divorce case is required to complete the Divorce Orientation course within 60 days from the date of filing the petition or complaint with the court. The respondent is required to complete the course within 30 days from the date he or she is served with the divorce petition or complaint.
Required Course 2: Divorce Education
The course is designed to help parents who are divorcing gain a better grasp of what children experience during divorce. It examines the responses of children of different ages to their parents’ divorce. The Divorce Education course is meant to help parents help their children adjust to difficult changes. Course topics include these, among others:
- Understanding children’s experience during and after their parents’ divorce.
- Predictable reactions of children at various age levels during and after divorce.
- Ways for parents to help children adjust to family life after divorce.
- How to reduce conflict and children’s exposure to divorce-related stress.
- Ways for divorced people to cooperate best in sharing parenting responsibilities.
Divorce Education Class for Children (ages 9 – 12)
The Divorce Education for Children session can help children better understand the natural emotional reactions they may be experiencing during and after their parents’ divorce. This course is free of charge.
Fees for Adult Divorce Classes
The fee for the Divorce Orientation class is $30 ($15 discount for attendance within the first 30 days). The fee for the Divorce Education class is $35. Cash is required upon entry to class. Payment by credit card is required for the online versions of the classes. A judge can waive fees.
Locations of Courses
You can attend the required Divorce Orientation and Divorce Education courses at any of the approved locations listed anywhere in Utah. You are not required to attend the sessions in the same jurisdiction as the court where the petition was filed. Reservations are not required. Arrive at least 15 minutes in advance to register.
Dates and Times of Sessions
The Divorce Orientation course is a one-hour class. That course is to be completed before the Divorce Education class, which is a two-hour class. You can attend both courses on the same day if you wish.
Divorce Courses Online
You can take the Divorce Orientation and Divorce Education courses online through the USU Extension. The university is the state’s only approved provider for the courses.
Viewing the Course Sessions on DVD
In certain cases, the court can permit someone to watch the required courses on DVD instead of attending the sessions in person. See the Utah Courts webpage for details on eligibility.
An interpreter can be provided at no cost to you. Go to the Utah Courts Request a Court Interpreter webpage for information and request forms.
Divorce Courses FAQ
For answers to frequently asked questions about the two required Utah divorce courses, you can contact the District Court Clerk’s office in the jurisdiction of your case.
Divorce Help in Utah – Wall Legal Solutions
For decades, we have been helping people through the divorce process in Utah. We’re here to guide you through the challenges of divorce and help you achieve the best outcomes of your divorce and child custody matters.
For help with legal requirements during divorce, call Wall & Wall Attorneys at Law at (801) 441-2388, or contact us here online to discuss the best approach to your situation.
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