Chief Sponsor: Carol Spackman Moss

Senate Sponsor: Lyle W. Hillyard


9     General Description:
10          This bill authorizes the educational course for divorcing parents to be attended online.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This bill:
13          ▸     authorizes the courts to provide an online option for the mandatory educational
14     course for divorcing parents.
15     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
16          None
17     Other Special Clauses:
18          None
19     Utah Code Sections Affected:
20     AMENDS:
21          30-3-11.3, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 347

23     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
24          Section 1. Section 30-3-11.3 is amended to read:
25          30-3-11.3. Mandatory educational course for divorcing parents -- Purpose --
26     Curriculum -- Exceptions.
27          (1) The Judicial Council shall approve and implement a mandatory course for

28     divorcing parents in all judicial districts. The mandatory course is designed to educate and
29     sensitize divorcing parties to their children's needs both during and after the divorce process.
30          (2) The Judicial Council shall adopt rules to implement and administer this program.
31          (3) As a prerequisite to receiving a divorce decree, both parties are required to attend a
32     mandatory course on their children's needs after filing a complaint for divorce and receiving a
33     docket number, unless waived under Section 30-3-4. If that requirement is waived, the court
34     may permit the divorce action to proceed.
35          (4) The court may require unmarried parents to attend this educational course when
36     those parents are involved in a visitation or custody proceeding before the court.
37          (5) The mandatory course shall instruct both parties:
38          (a) about divorce and its impacts on:
39          (i) their child or children;
40          (ii) their family relationship; and
41          (iii) their financial responsibilities for their child or children; and
42          (b) that domestic violence has a harmful effect on children and family relationships.
43          (6) The course may be provided through live instruction, video instruction, or an online
44     provider.
45          [(6)] (7) The Administrative Office of the Courts shall administer the course pursuant
46     to Title 63G, Chapter 6a, Utah Procurement Code, through private or public contracts and
47     organize the program in each of Utah's judicial districts. The contracts shall provide for the
48     recoupment of administrative expenses through the costs charged to individual parties,
49     pursuant to Subsection [(8)] (9).
50          [(7)] (8) A certificate of completion constitutes evidence to the court of course
51     completion by the parties.
52          [(8)] (9) (a) Each party shall pay the costs of the course to the independent contractor
53     providing the course at the time and place of the course. A fee of $8 shall be collected, as part
54     of the course fee paid by each participant, and deposited in the Children's Legal Defense
55     Account, described in Section 51-9-408.
56          (b) Each party who is unable to pay the costs of the course may attend the course
57     without payment upon a prima facie showing of impecuniosity as evidenced by an affidavit of
58     impecuniosity filed in the district court. In those situations, the independent contractor shall be

59     reimbursed for its costs from the appropriation to the Administrative Office of the Courts for
60     "Mandatory Educational Course for Divorcing Parents Program." Before a decree of divorce
61     may be entered, the court shall make a final review and determination of impecuniosity and
62     may order the payment of the costs if so determined.
63          [(9)] (10) Appropriations from the General Fund to the Administrative Office of the
64     Courts for the "Mandatory Educational Course for Divorcing Parents Program" shall be used to
65     pay the costs of an indigent parent who makes a showing as provided in Subsection [(8)] (9)(b).
66          [(10)] (11) The Administrative Office of the Courts shall adopt a program to evaluate
67     the effectiveness of the mandatory educational course. Progress reports shall be provided if
68     requested by the Judiciary Interim Committee.

Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel