There are many incentives for states to encourage and provide resources for happy and healthy marriages. Not only does a healthy marriage provide children access to both parental relationships, but it also reduces cases in family court, resources needed to enforce child and spousal support orders, and much more. One legislator wants to make providing resources for married couples the law in Florida.
Representative Clay Yarborough has proposed House Bill 319, called the Guide to a Healthy Marriage. The law would require Florida to create a Marriage Education Committee, which would involve six family and marriage advocates, who would be appointed by the Governor, the House Speaker, and the Senate President. This committee would design and publish the Guide to a Healthy Marriage, and the state would provide access to the Guide to couples applying for a marriage license.
Some topics that the Guide would address include the following:
- Conflict management
- Family expectations
- Communication skills
- Financial management and responsibility
- Parenting responsibilities
- Resources regarding domestic violence
This publication would supplement the existing Florida Family Law Handbook, which is provided to marrying couples.
This is the second time that this type of bill has been introduced in Florida, and the legislator supporting the bill hopes that the Guide will reduce the costs of divorce in our state. Consider the following statistics:
- In 2018 alone, 77,054 marriages in Florida ended in divorce or annulment, which is nearly 50 percent of the 156,168 marriages total
- Taxpayers in Florida pay about $1.9 billion each year toward divorce or unmarried parents
- The child welfare program costs about $181 million, and 46 percent of divorce cases involve one or more minor children
While there is an incentive for the law to support and encourage healthy marriages, divorce cases will continue to happen – even with the addition of the Guide if the law passes.
Divorce cases are complicated matters, and the law requires spouses to resolve many different issues before the family courts will dissolve a marriage. Such issues include child support, child timesharing and parental responsibilities, the division of marital property and assets, as well as spousal support. It is important for anyone considering divorce in the Tampa area to seek the representation and assistance of an experienced divorce attorney.
Contact a Tampa Family Law Attorney for Help You Can Trust
The Law Office of Mark G. Rodriguez, P.A., helps clients in Florida with many family-related issues. We are ready to help with legal matters involving your children or marriage, and you should not wait to consult with the firm directly. Call 813-227-9642 or contact us online for help and information about your options.