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Florida Legislators Propose a Required Reading Guidebook to Marriage

There are instruction manuals for every device or household appliance you acquire, however, you get nothing after you tie the bonds of holy matrimony. The Florida Family Policy Council reports that Florida Senator Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland and Representative Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, are expected to introduce a bill to have a marriage handbook created and distributed to newlyweds.
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Currently, in order to obtain a marriage license, couples are required to read a “handbook” which details the cold harsh realities of marriage but not actual constructive advice. The current handbook has instructions on how property would be divided in a divorce, what to do in the case of domestic violence, or what you can and can’t legally do to your spouse and children. This proposed handbook would try to help couples from having marriage’s darker side.

The guidebook’s purpose is to possibly curb divorce rates and other incidents of marital discord. The guidebook would cover topics of sharing finances, conflict management, parenting skills, and other important matters individuals entering a lifelong bond would need to know to ease their inevitable obstacles. The guidebook would contain contact information for agencies and other supporting bodies for individuals needing further marital assistance. Similar guidebooks are distributed in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.

The guidebook would be given out at the offices of the clerk of the court to all couples looking to be wed. Sen. Kelli explains the need for such a guidebook saying “so many young couples getting married today come from broken homes and cannot draw upon a living example of how a marriage works”.

The new literature is welcomed. Florida, the sunshine state, currently ranks 8th in divorce rates. According to Rep. Baxley Florida taxpayers carry a $2 billion dollar annual burden for costs related to divorce and supporting single parent families.

Some question the usefulness of such a manual citing the idea that the couples to take an interest in reading the book will likely find solutions and those likely to ignore it will be the ones needing it the most. However, any opponents have little grounds to reject the proposal as the publishing of the book would be completely funded by money raised from private foundations and, accordingly, is not expected to cost the taxpayer anything.

The bill will appoint a Marriage Education Committee to create the book with the goal of helping and preparing individuals citing extensive research that supports that marriage education has allowed unprepared couples to end the engagement early rather than engage in an eventual divorce.

More information regarding the bill can be found on the Strong Marriages Florida website.

Miami family law attorney Sandy T. Fox is dedicated to providing compassionate, confidential, zealous assistance to those in the South Florida area achieve their family law goals. The Law Firm of Sandy T. Fox works exclusively on domestic relations law matters, such as divorce, separation agreements, prenuptial agreements, paternity, child custody and support. To schedule your confidential free consultation with an experienced family law attorney Sandy T. Fox, please call our law office toll free at (800) 596-0579 or contact us through our website.

Related Posts Parenting Coordination Increasingly Used Following Florida Divorces July 6, 2012
Florida Legislature Seeks To Repeal Obsolete Cohabitation Statute September 15, 2011
Premarital Education Recommended By Experts August 9, 2010

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