Washington D.C., Apr 30, 2019 / 13:30 pm
States that require some form of marriage preparation see lower rates of divorce, a new study has shown.
About half of all first marriages in the United States end in divorce, a figure which only climbs with every subsequent marriage. However, a recent study from the Institute for Family Studies has shown that there are an estimated 14,785 fewer divorces in 2016 thanks, in part, to state-mandated premarital counseling.
Presently, 10 states have laws on the books that require couples undergo marriage counseling.
In 1998, Florida became the first state to enact such a policy, followed by Oklahoma, Maryland, Minnesota, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and, most recently, Utah, which passed its law in 2018. These laws either require or incentivize premarital counseling by offering a discounted or free marriage license, and permit both religious and non-religious counseling.