Deseret News
Letter to the editor

Accolades to our state legislators for passing SB 54: Marriage and Premarital Counseling and Education Amendments last week. As a graduate student at USU in social work (and a divorced single mother), I have researched this bill and believe it will have a positive impact on future Utah families.

Premarital counseling helps couples build a stronger foundation for marriage and decreases the chances of divorce. Evidence shows that couples with premarital education stay married in the first five years, and when they come across marital problems, they are three times more likely to get counseling help.

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Premarital counseling educates couples about what to expect in marriage. Many entering marriage today have grown up in broken families and have not been mentored in the ways of successful relationships. Premarital education helps couples learn about commitment, managing finances, dealing with in-laws and how to raise children. Communication is also a major factor in marital success — such as how to disagree without doing harm to the relationship and how communication can also strengthen the connection.

With SB 54, couples who engage in premarital counseling will receive a $20 rebate when applying for a marriage licence. This is a bargain considering the fact broken families are expensive and divorce can be financially devastating to individuals and children.

Again, kudos to our government for doing something to promote happy and stable families, rather than waiting downstream to deal with the consequences of failed marriages and broken families.

Angela Huntington