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Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

5005 Riverway Drive, Suite 450 • Houston, Texas 77056

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

States Ponder Pre-Divorce Counseling Requirements

Alabama and Wyoming are two states hoping to do something about their divorce rates by requiring that certain couples seeking a divorce undergo pre-divorce counseling before making a final split. In Alabama, a legislator is hoping to pass a bill that would permit couples to voluntarily sign a marriage covenant, which would impose a series of requirements before a couple could go ahead with the divorce. The covenant would require both pre-marital and pre-divorce counseling.

Wyoming legislators are currently considering a similar law, which would require three hours of pre-marital counseling and three hours of pre-divorce counseling before a couple married via covenant would be able to divorce.

Are the requirements likely to make any difference? Louisiana became the first state to pass a marriage covenant law back in 1997; its law is similar to what Alabama hopes to do. In Louisiana, though, less than 5 percent of all couples use a marriage covenant; almost all couples, thus, prefer to go with a regular marriage even if they have the option of signing a covenant.

The jury is also still out as to whether pre-marital or pre-divorce counseling makes a difference in reducing divorce rates. Several studies are currently underway, but, for now, we do not have any indication, for better or worse, of the impact of these covenant marriage requirements.

Have you recently undergone a divorce? What was your experience with the effects of counseling during a marriage?

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce lawyers

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