Mandatory Education in Divorce and Temporary Separation
Completing the course requirements
In order for you to receive credit for these courses you must complete an approved class. The divorce orientation class may be completed through an approved live class or through the approved online provider listed below. The divorce education class must be completed through an approved live class. The schedule for live classes is located on the course calendars below. As discussed below, the fee for a live class may be different from the fee for the online class. The court will not accept certificates from parties who take an online course from an unapproved provider.
Attending the Online Divorce Orientation Class
If you choose, you can now attend the Divorce Orientation class online. Please note that you will still be required to attend a live Divorce Education course to complete the course requirement. This is the only approved online course accepted by the Utah courts. The cost for this course is $30.00. For more information or to take the online course, please click on the link below.
Course Dates and Times
If you need an interpreter, simply request one, and one will be provided without charge. For information and forms, see our page Request a Court Interpreter.
You may attend the courses in any location regardless of where the divorce or temporary separation case is filed. You do not need an appointment. Registration takes about 15 minutes, so please arrive early. You may bring a support person with you.
- Children are not allowed.
- Late arrivals will not be admitted.
- Intoxicated and disruptive people will not be admitted.
- If you have a divorce or temporary separation case pending, bring your case number with you, or you will have to provide it to the instructor later.
If a course is held in a courthouse, you will have to pass through airport-type security to enter the building, so do not bring anything that might be considered a weapon or contraband.
For most locations, free parking is available and entry into the building is obvious. Access to the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City (maps.google.com) may be less obvious. There is a surface pay-lot immediately to the west of the courthouse, accessible only from 500 South, westbound. There is an underground pay-lot at the courthouse, which is accessible only from 400 South, eastbound, and it is not open on Saturday. Limited metered street parking is available nearby.
- For weekday daytime courses, enter the building through the East or West entrance.
- For weekday evening courses, enter the building through the East entrance.
- For Saturday courses, enter the building through the West entrance.
If you have questions, call the district court clerk. For a list of courthouses and telephone numbers, see our Court Directory.
Notifying the other parent of the education requirements
The petitioner must serve notice of the education requirements on the respondent. For a sample notice form, see the section below on Forms.
The fee for the divorce orientation course is $30 per person. However, the fee for the divorce orientation class will be discounted $15 for a petitioner who attends a live class within 30 days of filing the petition, and will be discounted $15 for a respondent who attends a live class within 30 days of being served with the petition. The fee for the online course will not be discounted. The fee for the divorce education course is $35 per person. The fees for the live courses are paid to the person teaching the class.
Cash is the only form of payment accepted for the live courses.
If you cannot afford to pay the fees you may ask the judge to waive them. The fee waiver applies only to the live courses. The process includes submitting a detailed description of your income, property, and debts. If the judge grants the request to waive the fees, you must give a copy of the signed order to the person teaching the class. For more information and forms to waive fees, see our page on Fees and Fee Waiver.
Education requirements for parents with minor children
Parents with minor children are required to complete certain education requirements. These requirements do not apply to parents with no minor children.
Parents in a divorce case or a temporary separation case must attend an orientation course. The petitioner must attend the orientation course no more than 60 days after the petition is filed. The respondent must attend the course no more than 30 days after being served with the petition. If a party wants any temporary orders the court will not consider a motion for a temporary order until the party completes the orientation courses.
Parents in a divorce case must also attend an education course. The court may require unmarried parents in a visitation or custody proceeding to attend the education course.
The court will not issue a decree until both parties have completed the course requirements and have presented a certificate of course completion to the court. You should complete the courses as soon as possible but no later than 60 days after filing the petition if you are the petitioner, or, if you are the respondent, no later than 30 days after being served with notice of the course requirements.
Lists of the dates and times for the courses are found in the section on Completing the course requirements.
Purpose of the orientation course
The orientation course educates parents about divorce and its alternatives. The course informs parents about:
- Resources to improve or strengthen the marriage.
- Resources to resolve custody and support issues without filing for divorce.
- The positive and negative consequences of divorce.
- Procedural options in a divorce, including mediation, collaborative law, and litigation.
- The divorce process.
- Post-divorce resources.
Purpose of the education course
The education course teaches parents to understand their children's reactions to their divorce and to help their children adjust. Parents learn how children of different ages express their pain and loss and the best parenting methods for helping them cope during and after the divorce. Some of the topics discussed are:
- Grieving stages common to divorce.
- How children experience divorce. What to expect from a child based on the child's developmental age, and how to help a child adjust to the divorce.
- Helpful ways to communicate with a child about the divorce. What children need to know and what they don't need to know.
- Parental behavior that promotes good self-esteem in children. Encouraging and supporting expression of your child's feelings.
- How and why conflict between parents creates stress for children. How to decrease the conflict children are exposed to.
- Why children need continued and meaningful relationships with both parents during and after a divorce. Helpful ways to share parenting responsibilities and encourage cooperative behavior with both parents.
- The financial and legal aspects of divorce.
Permission to watch a DVD
In limited circumstances, you may watch a DVD of the divorce education course and the divorce orientation course. You may watch the DVDs if you:
- live out of state or more than 60 miles from the nearest live class;
- are in prison, jail or other detention facility; or
- are an in-patient at a medical facility.
- The DVDs are available in English and in Spanish.
Watching the Courses on DVD
If you qualify to watch a DVD of the courses, you may watch it at certain district court courthouses or have the DVD mailed to you to watch on your own.
At a courthouse
Not all district court courthouses provide this service. The ones that do are listed below. However, you should contact the court to confirm the service and to see whether there are any time restrictions.
To watch the DVDs at a courthouse, contact the clerk of court at the district court in that courthouse. For contact information, see our Court Directory.
Pay the fees at the courthouse. If the judge grants the request to waive the fees, give a copy of the signed order to the judicial services representative. If a motion to waive the fees has been filed but not yet ruled on, give a copy of the motion to the judicial services representative. For more information and forms to waive fees, see our page on Fees and Fee Waiver.
After you watch the DVD, the judicial services representative will give you a Statement of Completion of Divorce Education Requirements by DVD to complete and sign. The judicial services representative will file in your case a Certificate of Completion and a Divorce Education/Orientation Certificate and will mail you a copy of both documents. Keep copies of all records for yourself.
On your own
To watch the DVD, contact your case manager, counselor or administrator. After you have watched the DVD, the case manager, counselor or administrator will give you a Statement of Completion of Divorce Education Requirements by DVD form to complete and sign. The case manager, counselor or administrator will mail it to the clerk of the court where your case is pending. Keep a copy for yourself. The clerk of court will file a Certificate of Completion and a Divorce Education/Orientation Certificate in your case and mail you a copy of both documents. There are no fees required for those incarcerated or detained.
You may need to show that you qualify to watch the DVDs. If you face circumstances that make attending a live class difficult, please contact:
State Divorce Education Clerk
801-238-7180 en espanol
Pay the fees to the Divorce Education Clerk, or, if ordering by mail, include the fees. If the judge grants the request to waive the fees, give or mail a copy of the signed order to the State Divorce Education Clerk. If a motion to waive the fees has been filed but not yet ruled on, give or mail a copy of the motion to the State Divorce Education Clerk. For more information and forms to waive fees, see our page on Fees and Fee Waiver.
The State Divorce Education Clerk will mail the DVD to you and include a Statement of Completion of Divorce Education Requirements by DVD form. After you have watched the DVD, complete the form and mail it to the Divorce Education Clerk. Keep a copy for yourself. The State Divorce Education Clerk will file in your case a Certificate of Completion and a Divorce Education/Orientation Certificate and will mail you a copy of both documents.
Waiving the education requirements
If attending a live course, watching the DVDs, or completing an online course is not appropriate or is not feasible or is not in the best interest of the parties, the judge can waive the requirement. Either party can ask that the requirement be waived by filing a motion. For more information about motion procedures, see our page on Motions, but use the Forms below.
Form to notify party of education requirements
Forms to waive the education requirements
- Checklist - PDF | Word
- Motion to Waive Education Requirements - PDF | Word
- Request to Submit for Decision - PDF | Word
- Proposed Order on Motion to Waive Education Requirements - PDF | Word
- Divorce Education for Children
- Fees and Fee Waiver
- Parenting Plans
- Rule 4-907. Mandatory divorce education.
- Thinking About Divorce? (divorce.usu.edu)
Note: This divorce orientation information offered by Utah State University may be useful to you, but it does not satisfy the requirement for a divorce orientation course.
- Utah Code Section 30-3-11.3
- Utah Code Section 30-3-11.4