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April 16, 2014

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For Utah parents, hurdle to divorce could advance

Updated Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 | 9:28 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah lawmaker is calling for the state to help more couples save their marriages.

Republican Rep. Jim Nielson says his measure would beef up an already existing requirement for divorcing parents who have children under 18. Utah was the first in the nation in 1994 to require that parents complete a class before courts will legally seal the split.

In 2008, it added on to the course a prerequisite emphasizing that parents still have time to reconcile. That's the piece Nielson says is important to move up earlier in the process.

Opponents are skeptical that the new provisions will help, saying once couples reach the class, they will likely go through with divorce. The proposal would exempt people seeking protective orders.

The measure is awaiting approval from the House.