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H.B. 132






Chief Sponsor: Dixon M. Pitcher

Senate Sponsor: ____________

             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          .    increases the license fee for a couple who do not undergo premarital education or
             18      counseling;
             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          30-1-14, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2001, Chapter 129
             29          30-1-30, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1971, Chapter 64
             30          30-1-36, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1971, Chapter 64
             31          30-1-37, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 297
             32          30-1-39, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1971, Chapter 64
             33          63I-1-230, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 382
             34      ENACTS:
             35          30-1-7.5, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             36      REPEALS AND REENACTS:
             37          30-1-34, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1971, Chapter 64
             38      REPEALS:
             39          30-1-31, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1971, Chapter 64
             40          30-1-32, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 297
             41          30-1-33, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 297
             42          30-1-35, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 297
             43          30-1-38, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1971, Chapter 64
             45      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             46          Section 1. Section 30-1-7 is amended to read:
             47           30-1-7. Marriage licenses -- Use within state -- Expiration.
             48          (1) [No] A marriage may not be solemnized in this state without a license issued by the
             49      county clerk of any county of this state.
             50          (2) A license issued within this state by a county clerk may only be used within this
             51      state.
             52          (3) A license that is not used within 30 days of the date of issuance is void.
             53          Section 2. Section 30-1-7.5 is enacted to read:
             54          30-1-7.5. Marriage licenses -- Waiting period.
             55          A license is not valid and may not be used until the third day after the date of issuance,
             56      not including the day of issuance, unless:
             57          (1) the couple has participated in premarital education or counseling in accordance
             58      with Section 30-1-34 ; or

             59          (2) the county clerk grants an exemption to a couple who has not participated in
             60      premarital education or counseling based on extraordinary circumstances.
             61          Section 3. Section 30-1-14 is amended to read:
             62           30-1-14. Acting without authority -- Impersonation -- Forgery -- Penalty.
             63          A person is guilty of a third degree felony if he:
             64          (1) knowingly solemnizes a marriage in violation of either Section 30-1-6 , 30-1-7 ,
             65      30-1-7.5 , or 30-1-9.1 ;
             66          (2) impersonates a parent or guardian of a minor to obtain a license for the minor to
             67      marry; or
             68          (3) forges the name of a parent or guardian of a minor on any writing purporting to
             69      give consent to a marriage of a minor.
             70          Section 4. Section 30-1-30 is amended to read:
             71           30-1-30. Premarital education or counseling -- State policy -- Applicability.
             72          (1) It is the policy of the state of Utah to enhance the possibility of couples to achieve
             73      more stable, satisfying and enduring marital and family relationships by providing
             74      opportunities for and encouraging the use of premarital education or counseling prior to
             75      securing a marriage license [by persons under 19 years of age and by persons who have been
             76      previously divorced].
             77          (2) As used in Sections 30-1-30 , 30-1-36 , 30-1-37 , and 30-1-39 :
             78          (a) "Premarital counseling" means the engaged couple meets together or individually
             79      with a licensed counselor or ordained minister who provides information and guidance
             80      regarding marriage and family life.
             81          (b) "Premarital education" means information regarding marriage and family life that is
             82      provided within a set curricula to couples in a group or classroom setting or via an online
             83      learning environment.
             84          Section 5. Section 30-1-34 is repealed and reenacted to read:
             85          30-1-34. Certificate of completion of counseling or education -- Reduction of
             86      license fee -- Increase in fee for noncompletion of counseling or education.
             87          (1) The county clerk of any county who issues a marriage license to applicants who
             88      present a certificate of completion in accordance with Subsection (2) shall reduce the fee for
             89      the license to $20.

             90          (2) In order to qualify for the reduced fee in Subsection (1), the parties shall submit a
             91      signed and dated statement from the person who provided the premarital education or
             92      counseling confirming that it was received.
             93          (a) The premarital education or counseling shall be provided by:
             94          (i) a licensed or ordained minister or the minister's designee who has been trained by
             95      the minister or denomination to conduct premarital education or counseling;
             96          (ii) a person authorized to solemnize marriages under Section 30-1-6 ;
             97          (iii) a licensed counselor;
             98          (iv) an individual certified by the National Council on Family Relations as a Certified
             99      Family Life Educator;
             100          (v) a Family and Consumer Sciences educator, including Family and Consumer
             101      Sciences educators with the Utah State University Cooperative Extension Service; or
             102          (vi) an individual who is an approved instructor of a premarital education curriculum
             103      that meets the requirements in Subsection (2)(b).
             104          (b) The education or counseling shall include, as a minimum, the following topics:
             105          (i) commitment in marriage;
             106          (ii) marital fidelity;
             107          (iii) effective communication and problem-solving skills, including avoiding violence
             108      and abuse in the relationship;
             109          (iv) effective financial management; and
             110          (v) encouragement to discuss any information that could reasonably affect the decision
             111      to marry.
             112          (c) At least six hours of premarital education or three hours of premarital counseling
             113      are required to fulfill the requirements of this section.
             114          (d) Religious organizations offering formal premarital education or counseling are
             115      exempt from the content requirements in Subsection (2)(b), but shall adhere to the length of
             116      time requirement.
             117          (e) Providers are encouraged to make use of research-based relationship inventories.
             118          (3) The statement from the person who provided the premarital education or
             119      counseling under Subsection (2) shall include the following:
             120          "I, (name of provider), confirm that I provided (names of both parties) at least three

             121      hours of premarital counseling or six hours of premarital education. I am authorized to provide
             122      premarital education or counseling in accordance with Subsection 30-1-34 (2)(a) Utah Code
             123      Annotated, 1953."
             124          (4) The names of the parties in the provider's statement shall be identical to the legal
             125      names of the parties as they appear on the marriage license application. The provider's
             126      statement shall be filed with the license.
             127          (5) The fee for a marriage license if the couple has not completed premarital education
             128      or counseling is $65.
             129          Section 6. Section 30-1-36 is amended to read:
             130           30-1-36. Activities included in premarital education.
             131          Premarital education or counseling as used in this [act shall] part may include but not
             132      be limited to lectures, group [counseling,] education, online courses, relationship inventories,
             133      and individual education or counseling [and testing].
             134          Section 7. Section 30-1-37 is amended to read:
             135           30-1-37. Confidentiality of information obtained -- Recordkeeping -- Utah
             136      Commission on Marriage to provide information to public.
             137          (1) Except for the information required or to be required on the marriage license
             138      application form, any information given by a marriage license applicant in compliance with this
             139      chapter shall be confidential information and may not be released by any person, board,
             140      commission, or other entity. However, the [premarital counseling board or board of
             141      commissioners] county clerk or the Utah Commission on Marriage within the Department of
             142      Workforce Services may use the information, without identification of individuals, to compile
             143      and release statistical data.
             144          (2) The county clerk shall keep a record of the number of marriage license applicants
             145      who:
             146          (a) paid the reduced fee because of participation in premarital education or counseling;
             147      and
             148          (b) were granted an exception to the 72-hour waiting period and the reason for the
             149      exception.
             150          (3) The information collected under Subsection (2) shall be provided in a report to the
             151      Utah Commission on Marriage no later than December 31 of each year.

             152          (4) The Utah Commission on Marriage shall:
             153          (a) provide information and resources to educate the public on the value of premarital
             154      education and counseling;
             155          (b) maintain a list of marriage and family life curricula that contain the elements
             156      required in Subsection 30-1-34 (2)(b) and make it available to the public;
             157          (c) evaluate the effectiveness of this program based on the information provided by the
             158      county clerks and other sources; and
             159          (d) provide to the Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee
             160      not later than October 31, 2018, and October 31, 2022, a report on the effectiveness of the
             161      program in encouraging premarital counseling or education. The second report shall also
             162      contain a recommendation to either sunset or continue the program.
             163          Section 8. Section 30-1-39 is amended to read:
             164           30-1-39. False representation of compliance -- Infraction.
             165          Any person [coming within the provisions of this act] who falsely represents that [he]
             166      the person has complied with the requirements of [a master plan for premarital counseling or
             167      who,] Section 30-1-34 or who colludes with another for the purpose of [evading the provisions
             168      of this act, applies for a marriage license in a county within the state of Utah which does not
             169      require premarital counseling,] receiving the benefit of Subsection 30-1-34 (1) is guilty of [a
             170      misdemeanor] an infraction.
             171          Section 9. Section 63I-1-230 is amended to read:
             172           63I-1-230. Repeal dates, Title 30.
             173          Sections 30-1-30 , 30-1-34 , 30-1-36 , 30-1-37 , and 30-1-39 are repealed July 1, 2023.
             174          Section 10. Repealer.
             175          This bill repeals:
             176          Section 30-1-31, Premarital counseling board in county -- Appointment, terms,
             177      compensation, offices -- Common counseling board with adjacent county.
             178          Section 30-1-32, Master plan for counseling.
             179          Section 30-1-33, Conformity to master plan for counseling as prerequisite to
             180      marriage license -- Exceptions.
             181          Section 30-1-35, Persons performing counseling services designated by board --
             182      Exemption from license requirements.

             183          Section 30-1-38, Fee for counseling.
             184          Section 11. Effective date.
             185          This bill takes effect on January 1, 2013.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 1-16-12 6:14 PM

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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