What if my spouse will not complete the divorce orientation and education courses for parents? Can the judge still grant the divorce?
You can file a motion notifying the court that your spouse refuses to take the courses and assert that it is not equitable to deny you a divorce for your spouse’s inaction. You can ask that the court enter the decree of divorce nonetheless, with a provision that your spouse cannot exercise child custody or parent-time unless and until he/she has completed the mandatory courses. See below; the Utah Code provides that the court can waive the course requirements, and your spouse’s refusal to complete the courses is certainly a basis for seeking a waiver (I’ve done it myself for my clients many times):
(3) As a prerequisite to receiving a divorce decree, both parties are required to attend a mandatory course on their children’s needs after filing a complaint for divorce and receiving a docket number, unless waived under Section 30-3-4. If that requirement is waived, the court may permit the divorce action to proceed.
(13) Both parties shall attend a divorce orientation course before a divorce decree may be entered, unless waived by the court. A certificate of completion constitutes evidence to the court of course completion by the parties.
Remember: the divorce orientation and education courses are mandated only for divorcing parents of minor children. If you and your spouse have no children or have no minor children, you and your spouse are not required to take the courses.
Eric K. Johnson,
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277