Utah Divorce Education Classes: Everything You Need to Know


Before the court can sign the decree about marriage dissolution or temporary separation in Utah, all couples with minor children must attend mandatory divorce courses. They are needed for parents to get the necessary information about caring for kids during and after ending the marital relationship. An education course may also be required for unmarried couples undergoing custody or visitation court proceedings.

This article offers a general overview of divorce courses in Utah, answering the most important questions about their purpose, price, and duration and what else is required of parents going to divorce or separate in the state.

Why Are Parenting Classes Required for a Divorce?

Utah divorce law mandates all couples with minor children to undergo a mandatory orientation course (Utah Code § 30-3-11.4) and educational course (Utah Code § 30-3-11.3) before they can get their divorce or separation decree. The purpose of such a requirement is to provide parents with information on the impact of marriage dissolution on kids and help all the involved parties cope with and recover from it with minimal stress.

While children are not the primary players in this process, they are affected directly and are vulnerable to emotional harm. Divorce parenting classes in Utah aim to equip parents with tools that can help them better understand their kids’ perspectives and facilitate their transition to a new stage in their lives.

Utah also offers a free voluntary program called Divorce Education for Children Online for kids aged 6-17. With the aim of helping children cope with divorce, classes are designed for minors whose parents are already divorced or are only going to end their marriage or separate.

What to Expect from Divorce Education?

Divorcing spouses with minor children must take 2 parenting classes and provide a certificate about their completion to the court. Until then, the court will not consider any petitions or motions concerning divorce or temporary separation actions.

The courses may be taken from any court-approved center for divorce education. However, The USU Extension is the only online course provider approved by the Utah Family Court. The court system does not recognize certificates from unapproved providers.

While both parents must undertake the courses, they are not supposed to do this together. The petitioner must attend the Divorce Orientation Course within 60 days after filing for divorce, and the respondent has 30 days after being served with the papers for this.

Orientation Course

As stipulated in the corresponding statute, the Utah Divorce Orientation Course educates spouses about different marriage dissolution issues. Topics discussed during the class include:

  • Divorce process and possible options;
  • Consequences of divorce;
  • Reasonable alternatives to divorce;
  • Resources to improve marriage and resolve support and custody matters without filing for divorce;
  • Post-divorce resources.

Education Course

According to the law, a divorce education course in Utah aims to help parents undergoing a divorce better understand their children’s needs and perceptions of the event. They are instructed about the ways children of different ages express their pain and taught to help their kids adjust.

The mandatory course includes discussions about the impact of divorce on children, family relationships, and both parties’ financial responsibilities. It also focuses on the harmful effects of domestic violence on all parties involved. A more specific program is described on the Utah State Court’s website. It includes the following topics:

  • Common grieving stages;
  • Children’s experiences during and after divorce at different ages;
  • Ways parents can help their kids adjust at different developmental stages;
  • Proper communication about divorce with children;
  • The impact of stress on children and ways to minimize it by decreasing the conflict between parents;
  • Ways of cooperation between the divorced spouses and sharing parenting responsibilities;
  • Strategies for promoting children’s self-esteem and encouraging their self-expression;
  • Financial and legal aspects of divorce.

Unmarried parents involved in visitation and/or custody action are often also required to undertake this educational course for a better understanding of their children’s needs.

How Long Is the Parenting Class for Divorce?

The parenting class for divorce in Utah is not very long, and both classes can be taken on the same day. The Orientation Course, which must be completed first, is one hour long. The Educational Course lasts two hours and can be undergone immediately after the first one.

In-person sessions are held on different days and times. The schedule for the nearest months can be viewed on the Utah State Court’s website.

Remember that both courses must be completed as soon as possible. The petitioner is required to do this no later than 60 days after filing the petition, and the respondent must do so within 30 days after being served with the papers.

How Much Does Divorce Parenting Class Cost?

The Divorce Orientation Course costs $30 per person. Petitioners and respondents who attend live classes within 30 days of filing and being served with the papers, respectively, receive a $15 discount. No discount is provided for online courses, though. The Divorce Educational Course costs $35 per person.

Live courses are only paid in cash to the instructor. Credit or debit cards may be accepted in some educational centers in Utah, Salt Lake, and Davis counties. Online courses are only paid by credit cards through a secure payment portal.

The fees for divorce parenting classes can be waived if you are eligible. You should provide the judge with a request and a financial disclosure.

Where You Can Attend the Divorce Courses in Utah?

You may attend the courses in accordance with the Utah divorce class schedule at any location nearest to you, no matter where you file for separation or marriage dissolution.

These are some of the approved locations:

City Location Phone
Salt Lake


Redwood Recreation Center

3060 S. Lester St., West Valley City





Provo City Library at Academy Square

550 North University Avenue, Room 308



Farmington Community Art Center

120 South Main Street



Check the Utah State Court’s website for more locations, dates, and times.

Reservations are not required, but arriving at least 15 minutes before the start is highly advisable. This time is needed for registration. Late arrivals are not accepted.

Remember to bring the case number with you so you can give it to the instructor. If necessary, an interpreter can be provided free of charge upon request.

You may also take someone to support you. However, children are not allowed. Intoxicated or disruptive persons will not be admitted either, which is also true for the participants.

Both Orientation and Educational courses can also be completed online. However, fees will not be discounted in this case. As mentioned before, the only court-approved online course provider in Utah is The USU Extension.

Besides, Utah law allows some parties to watch both courses on DVD if they have extenuating circumstances, including incarceration. More information on the issue may be found on the Utah State Court’s website.