Attention people who are divorcing and who are parents:
Utah law requires divorcing parents to complete not one, but two a mandatory courses (hooray).
You cannot obtain a divorce decree without both parties first attending this mandatory course, unless the court orders attendance waived (don’t expect the court to waive course attendance except in highly rare, extenuating circumstances).
One course, the “Divorce Education Course,” is “a mandatory course for divorcing parents in all judicial districts” . . . designed to educate and sensitize divorcing parties to their children’s needs both during and after the divorce process. See Utah Code § 30-3-11.3.
The Divorce Education Course isn’t free (it could be, if the courts would just put the course on YouTube, or could be virtually free if it were offered on iTunes for 99¢, but that hasn’t happened and there’s no indication it will any time soon). The cost for the Divorce Education course is $35, regardless of whether you take it before or after the 30 day time frame.
You can get the fee waived if you prove you’re too poor to pay.
The divorce education course is two hours long.
The other course is “a mandatory divorce orientation course for all parties with minor children who file a petition for temporary separation or for a divorce.” See Utah Code § 30-3-11.4. The purpose of the course is “to educate parties about the divorce process and reasonable alternatives.“
The petitioner must attend a divorce orientation course no more than 60 days after filing a petition for divorce. The respondent must attend the divorce orientation course no more than 30 days after being served with a complaint for divorce.
The court may not hear any motion for temporary orders filed by either party until the party seeking temporary orders has completed the divorce orientation course (hooray).
It is an affirmative defense in all divorce actions that the divorce orientation requirement was not complied with. The action may not continue until a party has complied with the orientation course.
The divorce orientation course isn’t free either. You can save $15.00 on the cost of the Divorce Orientation class if you take it within 30 days of filing for divorce (if you are the petitioner who filed for divorce), or within 30 days after being served in a divorce case (if you are the respondent who was served with a divorce complaint). If you wait longer than 30 days to take the course, the fee doubles, to $30.00.
The divorce orientation course must be at least an hour long.