1     
PREMARITAL EDUCATION AND COUNSELING

             2     
AMENDMENTS

             3     
2012 GENERAL SESSION

             4     
STATE OF UTAH

             5     
Chief Sponsor: Dixon M. Pitcher

             6     
Senate Sponsor: ____________

             7     
             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This bill modifies the marriage education or counseling provisions by requiring a
             11      reduction in marriage license fees for couples who voluntarily undergo premarital
             12      counseling that meets specific criteria.
             13      Highlighted Provisions:
             14          This bill:
             15          .    reduces the marriage license fee for a couple who undergo premarital education or
             16      counseling;
             17      H. [     .    increases the license fee for a couple who do not undergo premarital education or
             18      counseling;
] .H

             19          .    creates a three day waiting period for a license before it can be used; and
             20          .    sets out a list of topics the premarital counseling should cover.
             21      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             22          None
             23      Other Special Clauses:
             24          This bill takes effect on January 1, 2013.
             25      Utah Code Sections Affected:


             26      AMENDS:
             27          30-1-7, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2004, Chapter 289
             28          30-1-30, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1971, Chapter 64
             29          30-1-36, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1971, Chapter 64
             30          30-1-37, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 297
             31          30-1-39, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1971, Chapter 64
             32          63I-1-230, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 382
             33      ENACTS:
             34          30-1-7.5, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             35      REPEALS AND REENACTS:
             36          30-1-34, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1971, Chapter 64
             37      REPEALS:
             38          30-1-31, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1971, Chapter 64
             39          30-1-32, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 297
             40          30-1-33, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 297
             41          30-1-35, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 297
             42          30-1-38, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1971, Chapter 64
             43     
             44      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             45          Section 1. Section 30-1-7 is amended to read:
             46           30-1-7. Marriage licenses -- Use within state -- Expiration.
             47          (1) [No] A marriage may not be solemnized in this state without a license issued by the
             48      county clerk of any county of this state.
             49          (2) A license issued within this state by a county clerk may only be used within this
             50      state.
             51          (3) A license that is not used within 30 days of the date of issuance is void.
             52          Section 2. Section 30-1-7.5 is enacted to read:
             53          30-1-7.5. Marriage licenses -- Waiting period.
             54          A license is not valid and may not be used until the third day after the date of issuance,
             55      not including the day of issuance, unless:
             56          (1) the couple has participated in premarital education or counseling in accordance


             57      with Section 30-1-34 ; or
             58          (2) the county clerk grants an exemption to a couple who has not participated in
             59      premarital education or counseling based on extraordinary circumstances.
             60          Section 3. Section 30-1-30 is amended to read:
             61           30-1-30. Premarital education or counseling -- State policy -- Applicability.
             62          (1) It is the policy of the state of Utah to enhance the possibility of couples to achieve
             63      more stable, satisfying and enduring marital and family relationships by providing
             64      opportunities for and encouraging the use of premarital education or counseling prior to
             65      securing a marriage license [by persons under 19 years of age and by persons who have been
             66      previously divorced].
             67          (2) As used in Sections 30-1-30 , 30-1-36 , 30-1-37 , and 30-1-39 :
             68          (a) "Premarital counseling" means the engaged couple meets together or individually
             69      with a licensed counselor or ordained minister who provides information and guidance
             70      regarding marriage and family life.
             71          (b) "Premarital education" means information regarding marriage and family life that is
             72      provided within a set curricula to couples in a group or classroom setting or via an online
             73      learning environment.
             74          Section 4. Section 30-1-34 is repealed and reenacted to read:
             75          30-1-34. Certificate of completion of counseling or education -- Reduction of
             76      license fee -- Increase in fee for noncompletion of counseling or education.
             77          (1) The county clerk of any county who issues a marriage license to applicants who
             78      present a certificate of completion in accordance with Subsection (2) shall reduce the fee for
             79      the license to $10. The reduced fee does not include any fees assessed by the state in
             80      conjunction with marriage licenses and collected by the county clerk.
             81          (2) In order to qualify for the reduced fee in Subsection (1), the parties shall submit a
             82      signed and dated statement from the person who provided the premarital education or
             83      counseling confirming that it was received.
             84          (a) The premarital education or counseling shall be provided by:
             85          (i) a licensed or ordained minister or the minister's designee who has been trained by
             86      the minister or denomination to conduct premarital education or counseling;
             87          (ii) a person authorized to solemnize marriages under Section 30-1-6 ;


             88          (iii) a licensed counselor;
             89          (iv) an individual certified by the National Council on Family Relations as a Certified
             90      Family Life Educator;
             91          (v) a Family and Consumer Sciences educator, including Family and Consumer
             92      Sciences educators with the Utah State University Cooperative Extension Service; or
             93          (vi) an individual who is an approved instructor of a premarital education curriculum
             94      that meets the requirements in Subsection (2)(b).
             95          (b) The education or counseling shall include, as a minimum, the following topics:
             96          (i) commitment in marriage;
             97          (ii) marital fidelity;
             98          (iii) effective communication and problem-solving skills, including avoiding violence
             99      and abuse in the relationship;
             100          (iv) effective financial management; and
             101          (v) encouragement to discuss any information that could reasonably affect the decision
             102      to marry.
             103          (c) At least six hours of premarital education or three hours of premarital counseling
             104      are required to fulfill the requirements of this section.
             105          (d) Religious organizations offering formal premarital education or counseling are
             106      exempt from the content requirements in Subsection (2)(b), but shall adhere to the length of
             107      time requirement.
             108          (e) Providers are encouraged to make use of research-based relationship inventories.
             109          (3) The statement from the person who provided the premarital education or
             110      counseling under Subsection (2) shall include the following:
             111          "I, (name of provider), confirm that I provided (names of both parties) at least three
             112      hours of premarital counseling or six hours of premarital education. I am authorized to provide
             113      premarital education or counseling in accordance with Subsection 30-1-34 (2)(a) Utah Code
             114      Annotated, 1953."
             115          (4) The names of the parties in the provider's statement shall be identical to the legal
             116      names of the parties as they appear on the marriage license application. The provider's
             117      statement shall be filed with the license.
             118           H. [ (5) The fee for a marriage license if the couple has not completed premarital education


             119      or counseling is $65.
] .H

             120          Section 5. Section 30-1-36 is amended to read:
             121           30-1-36. Activities included in premarital education.
             122          Premarital education or counseling as used in this [act shall] part may include but not
             123      be limited to lectures, group [counseling,] education, online courses, relationship inventories,
             124      and individual education or counseling [and testing].
             125          Section 6. Section 30-1-37 is amended to read:
             126           30-1-37. Confidentiality of information obtained -- Recordkeeping -- Utah
             127      Commission on Marriage to provide information to public.
             128          (1) Except for the information required or to be required on the marriage license
             129      application form, any information given by a marriage license applicant in compliance with this
             130      chapter shall be confidential information and may not be released by any person, board,
             131      commission, or other entity. However, the [premarital counseling board or board of
             132      commissioners] county clerk or the Utah Commission on Marriage within the Department of
             133      Workforce Services may use the information, without identification of individuals, to compile
             134      and release statistical data.
             135          (2) The county clerk shall keep a record of the number of marriage license applicants
             136      who:
             137          (a) paid the reduced fee because of participation in premarital education or counseling;
             138      and
             139          (b) were granted an exception to the 72-hour waiting period and the reason for the
             140      exception.
             141          (3) The information collected under Subsection (2) shall be provided in a report to the
             142      Utah Commission on Marriage no later than December 31 of each year.
             143          (4) The Utah Commission on Marriage shall:
             144          (a) provide information and resources to educate the public on the value of premarital
             145      education and counseling;
             146          (b) maintain a list of marriage and family life curricula that contain the elements
             147      required in Subsection 30-1-34 (2)(b) and make it available to the public;
             148          (c) evaluate the effectiveness of this program based on the information provided by the
             149      county clerks and other sources; and


             150          (d) provide to the Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee
             151      not later than October 31, 2018, and October 31, 2022, a report on the effectiveness of the
             152      program in encouraging premarital counseling or education. The second report shall also
             153      contain a recommendation to either sunset or continue the program.
             154          Section 7. Section 30-1-39 is amended to read:
             155           30-1-39. False representation of compliance -- Infraction.
             156          Any person [coming within the provisions of this act] who falsely represents that [he]
             157      the person has complied with the requirements of [a master plan for premarital counseling or
             158      who,] Section 30-1-34 or who colludes with another for the purpose of [evading the provisions
             159      of this act, applies for a marriage license in a county within the state of Utah which does not
             160      require premarital counseling,] receiving the benefit of Subsection 30-1-34 (1) is guilty of [a
             161      misdemeanor] an infraction.
             162          Section 8. Section 63I-1-230 is amended to read:
             163           63I-1-230. Repeal dates, Title 30.
             164          Sections 30-1-30 , 30-1-34 , 30-1-36 , 30-1-37 , and 30-1-39 are repealed July 1, 2023.
             165          Section 9. Repealer.
             166          This bill repeals:
             167          Section 30-1-31, Premarital counseling board in county -- Appointment, terms,
             168      compensation, offices -- Common counseling board with adjacent county.
             169          Section 30-1-32, Master plan for counseling.
             170          Section 30-1-33, Conformity to master plan for counseling as prerequisite to
             171      marriage license -- Exceptions.
             172          Section 30-1-35, Persons performing counseling services designated by board --
             173      Exemption from license requirements.
             174          Section 30-1-38, Fee for counseling.
             175          Section 10. Effective date.
             176          This bill takes effect on January 1, 2013.


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