Parents with young children in the process of divorce or temporary separation in the state of Utah are required to attend two divorce instruction courses, an orientation course and an education course. Only parents with minor children are required to attend these courses. Unmarried parents involved in a custody or visitation case may also be required to attend these divorce education courses.
The Utah family court does not issue a divorce decree until both parents have completed both courses and until both have provided the court with their certificates of course completion. Below is information to help you meet these Utah divorce course requirements.
The Orientation Course
Course Timeframe Requirement — If you are the divorce petitioner, you are required to attend the Divorce Orientation course no later than 60 days after you file your petition. Your spouse, the respondent, is required to attend the course no later than 30 days after he/she has been served with the petition. If either party to the divorce wants temporary orders of any kind from the Utah family court, the judge will not consider a motion for such orders until after the requesting party completes the courses.
Why is the Orientation Course Required? — The orientation course is for the purpose of educating parents about issues involved in divorce, alternatives to divorce, and available resources for divorced parents in Utah. Topics discussed in the orientation course include:
- Resources for strengthening or improving the marriage.
- Both positive and negative consequences of getting a divorce.
- The Utah family court divorce process.
- Resolutions of child custody and support conflicts that do not require filing for a divorce.
- Options for divorce processes (collaborative law, mediation, and litigation).
- Resources for divorced individuals.
The Education Course
The education course is for the purpose of helping parents going through divorce tobetter understand what children go through during divorce and their reactions to their circumstances in a divorce, so that parents can better help their children in adjusting to the major changes. Through the courses, parents come to learn the differences between reactions of children a different ages, how they can be expected to express their sense of loss and pain. And, parents are provided with professional recommendations for methods to help their children cope, during and after the divorce process. Some topics covered in the course include:
- The natural stages of grieving for children in a divorce.
- What the divorce experience is like for children. What parents should expect from children at each age level, during and after divorce.
- How parents can help children to adjust to their situation during a divorce, communicating with children about the divorce, what kids need to know and what they do not need to know.
- The stress effects on children from conflict between their parents, and ways to minimize the conflicts to which children are exposed during divorce.
- Promoting children’s self-esteem through parent’s behavior, encouraging children’s expression of their feelings during divorce.
- Children’s need for meaningful continued relationships with both of their parents, during the divorce process and afterward. Ways for divorcing parents to successfully cooperate and share responsibilities for children.
- The legal and financial issues involved in divorce.
Course Fees – What You Need to Know
- For both classroom and online courses, the Divorce Orientation course fee is $30, and the Divorce Education course fee is $35.
- Fees for the classroom Orientation course arediscounted $15 for petitioners who attend the classroom courses within 30 days from filing the divorce petition.
- And, fees are also discounted $15 for respondents who attend the classroom courses within 30 days of receiving notice from the petitioner of their requirement to attend the courses. Fees for the online version of the Divorce Orientation course are not discounted.
- Cash is required for payment of fees for classroom courses, to be paid to the course instructor at the time of the class.
- Credit card is the required form of payment for online courses. Those fees can be paid through the secure payment portal through the online registration
- Fees can be waived by the judge. A financial disclosure and application can be filed with the court to request this waiver. Then, you must provide a copy of the waiver, ordered and signed by the judge, to your course instructor. For details on forms for waiving fees, see the Fees and Fee Waiver through the link provided here to the information page of the court’s website.
Course Date and Times
Class meeting times are provided at various times during the day and evenings, throughout each month.
The Orientation course is attended first. The course is one hour long. And, the Education course can be attended immediately following the Orientation course, on the same day. The Education course is two hours long.
You may attend the divorce courses in Utah at any of the locations listed, regardless of where your divorce or your temporary separation case has been filed with the court. It is not necessary to reserve a place in the class. You can just come to whichever class is most convenient for you. Arrive at least 15 minutes in advance for the course registration.
See the course calendars for dates and times.
|Brigham||Milton P. Miller Building, Room 161, USU Brigham City Campus, 195 W 1100 S||435-752-1976|
|Cedar City||Iron County Visitor Center – West Conference Center, 581 N. Main St.||435-586-9521|
|Farmington||Old Courthouse East side, 28 E. State, #230||801-447-5528|
|Logan||Logan Recreation Center, 195 S. 100 W.||435-752-1976|
|Ogden||Second District Court 2525 Grant Avenue||801-395-1079|
|Price||Carbon County Courthouse, North End||435-637-1943|
|Provo||4th District Courthouse, 125 North 100 West||801-447-5528|
|Salt Lake||Matheson Courthouse 450 S State, Rm W19||801-238-7180|
|St. George||197 East Tabernacle||435-634-2372|
|Tooele||Tooele County Courthouse 74 South 100 East|
|Vernal||Old Juvenile Court Blvd., 780 W Main|
You are welcome to request an interpreter if you need one. An interpreter will be provided for you at no charge.
Online Utah Divorce Courses
You may take the Utah Divorce Orientation and the Divorce Education courses online. If you have received a court waiver of the fees for the courses, use the instructions for submitting the waiver to the USU Extension. IMPORTANT: The USU Extension is the only Utah family court approved online course provider for these two courses.
Court–Approved Course Providers
Ensure that you are taking your divorce courses from one of the court-approved providers of classroom or online versions of the courses. The Utah court system does not accept course certificates from unapproved providers.
If your divorce or temporary separation case is currently pending, you must provide your case number to the course instructor.
Notifying our children’s other parent about the education course requirements — As the petitioner, you are required to provide your spouse with notice of the divorce education course requirements. See a sample of the notification in the Forms section on the court’s website.
For Questions about Courses and Court Requirements
For questions about the Utah divorce courses for parents, you can contact the district court clerk’s office. See a listing of courthouse telephone numbers in the Court Directory.
Divorce Education for Children (ages 9 – 12)
The Divorce Education for Children class is designed to help children between ages 9 to 12 learn about the natural emotional responses they may be experiencing during the divorce process and afterward. This course is provided free of charge. The course is conducted by a mental health professional, and it gives children a chance to work on developing skills for better communicating their feelings during a divorce to their parents. The course goal is to help minimize adverse effects of divorce on children.
Children’s courses are provided at Logan, Provo, Ogden, and Salt Lake City. You can register online to take your children to one of the Divorce Education for Children classes nearest to your home.
Watching a DVD of Courses
In some cases the court will allow parties to a divorce to watch a DVD of the two courses instead of attending classes or taking the courses online, if you:
- live beyond 60 miles from the nearest class, or out of state
- are an in-patient at a medical facility.
- are detained in jail, prison, or are in another pe of detention facility
If you are permitted to watch a DVD in lieu of taking the courses, you may go to a designated district court courthouse to view the DVD, or you can have the DVD mailed to your location so that you can watch it on your own.
The district court courthouses that provide this service are listed below. Contact the court in advance, to confirm that the viewing service is still offered there, and to find out about any possible viewing time policies a that location.
See the Court Directory for contact information. Pay your fees at the courthouse, or present your fee waiver. You will receive a two DVD set, with the Divorce Orientation and Education courses. These are also available in Spanish. The cost of the DVD set is $65.00. The price includes your affidavit of completion.
Taking the Courses On your Own
Detained persons — Contact your counselor, case manager, or administrator for arrangements to watch the DVDs and to complete and sign your Statement of Completion of Divorce Education Requirements by DVD. No fees are charged for people who are detained or incarcerated.
Contact the State Divorce Education Clerk for information about watching the DVDs on your own. Call: 801-238-7181 (for English) or 801-238-7180 (en Español). Go to the state’s divorce courses website accessible through the link provided here for fees and more information about taking the courses on your own.
Attorney Eric Swinyard, Provo UT
Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC is a Utah family law practice. If you need a divorce attorney in Utah, we are here to provide you with affordable legal services to protect your rights. We help our clients with a number of important legal services, including, Divorce, Family Law, Paternity, Adoption, Asset Protection, Litigation, Contracts, Mediation, and parental visitation scheduling. We understand how difficult the process of divorce is for our clients and their families. We are here to help you through the legal process, so that you and your family can move forward to a happy future beyond divorce.
For More Information
If you need more information about divorce classes in Utah, or you need to speak to an attorney about your rights in the divorce process, contact Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC, and ask to schedule your consultation for an assessment of your case. We help our clients in South Jordan, Salt Lake County, Provo, and Utah County through the legal process of divorce.
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