A ballot initiative in Colorado proposing education classes before a couple can marry is meeting some resistance. The initiative wants those entering into matrimony to have 10 hours of marriage education before tying the knot. However, that 10 hours of classes is just for first-time brides and grooms, and widows and widowers. For those who want to marry for a second time, 20 hours of marriage education classes would be required. It’s 30 hours for someone who wants to marry for the third time.
The initiative is the brainchild of Kids Against Divorce, an organization out of California. Colorado was chosen as the first state by the organization for the initiative, but there are plans to bring similar measures to other states. One of the organization’s members says, “Education is the key to success in every aspect of life. This will have a positive impact on marriage.”
The idea has its opponents, though. One divorcee says, “This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.” She was married in November 2013 for the third time. She said that no class can teach someone about commitment and communication, which she says is what marriage is really about. She also believes that the government shouldn’t interfere with what kind of education a couple should get before marrying. For her second marriage, she and her now-ex-husband completed six months of church counseling. That marriage lasted under two months.
In order to end up on the November ballot, the initiative needs 86,105 signatures by the deadline, which is Aug. 4. In addition to the education classes, the proposed measure wants to provide couples who go through continuing education each year with a tax cut.
Once a couple completes the education classes, they would get a “Marriage Course Completion Certificate” issued by the Colorado State Board of Marriage and Family Therapists Examiners. There would be fees for the education classes.
While it’s uncertain right now if the initiative will end up on the ballot, those who are currently contemplating divorce need to understand their rights and responsibilities. This will make the process easier when it comes to child support, child custody, alimony and property division. An experienced Colorado divorce attorney may be able to provide just the right advice you need to get through the divorce process and move on with your life.
Source: Denver Post, “Colorado ballot measure proposes education classes to marry” Kate Gibbons, Jan. 20, 2014