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Recently Proposed Bill Would Create “Florida Guide to a Healthy Marriage”

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In an effort to reduce the divorce rate in the state, one lawmaker recently proposed a new bill that would require the clerk of the circuit court to provide a special marital guide titled, the “Florida Guide to a Healthy Marriage” to marriage license applicants. Although it is unclear whether this bill will become law, it does highlight the importance of having a firm understanding of marriage-related issues, including premarital agreements, parental rights and responsibilities, and divorce. If you want to learn more about these, or other divorce-related legal topics, you should consider speaking with an experienced divorce attorney who can address your concerns.

What Does the Marital Guide Contain? 

If passed, House Bill 1323 would require court clerks to provide couples who request a marriage license with a marital guide that covers a variety of topics, including:

  • Conflict management;
  • Communication skills;
  • Family expectations;
  • Financial responsibilities;
  • Financial management;
  • Domestic violence; and
  • Parenting responsibilities.

In addition to these topics, the “Florida Guide to a Healthy Marriage” would provide up-to-date advice from marriage education and family advocates to help in the formation and maintenance of long-term marital relationships, as well as:

  • Information about premarital education, marriage enrichment education and resources to help restore a marriage moving towards dissolution; and
  • Contact information and links to community services, local professionals, and additional resources to assist couples struggling with their relationship.

Although the marriage guide proposal has already cleared one of three committees of lawmakers, it still has a long way to go and while it has its fair share of supporters, the bill, like any other piece of legislation, also has its detractors who claim that forcing people to read a guide prior to marriage will realistically not do much to reduce the divorce rate. On the other hand, supporters argue that it’s a good start and could help couples go into marriage with a better idea of the issues they may face at no additional cost to the taxpayer.

If House Bill 1323 is enacted, the guide would be drafted by a group known as the Marriage Education Committee, which would be made up of six family and marriage education advocates who would also be responsible for raising funds from private sources to cover the cost of designing, printing, and distributing the guide. If enacted, the law would become effective this summer.

Contact Our Legal Team Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Dedicated Divorce Lawyer  

If you are considering filing for divorce, you should speak with a divorce attorney about your options, rights, and obligations. Please call 954-945-7591 today to speak with experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. about what’s best for you and your family. We understand that going through a divorce can be emotionally and financially taxing and so dedicate ourselves to helping our clients shoulder their burdens by aggressively representing their interests, whether in negotiations or in the courtroom. A member of our legal team is standing by and ready to help you through each step of your case.

Resources:

floridapolitics.com/archives/254841-ideological-dispute-erupts-healthy-marriage-guide-passes-house-committee

flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2018/1323/BillText/__/PDF

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