Everyone knows it can be very difficult and expensive to get divorced even if you have been married a short time. Would some of these individuals not be getting divorced (or not have married) if they would have received pre-marital legal counseling or premarital legal counseling? Premarital counseling would discuss sharing finances, financial goals, dispute resolution and how to be a good spouse. Another component would be discovering information about your spouse and how they feel about certain issues. Do they want children? How many? How do they feel about debt? How much debt to they have?
What about the legal side? Most individuals have no idea or great misconceptions about the legal ramifications of marriage (i.e. potential for alimony, property and debt division) or the legal process of divorce in general (such as the two-year separation requirement in Illinois). I think it would be good public policy for Illinois to require a certification of completion of pre-marital counseling that has a legal component as well. This will cut down on some “shot gun” weddings, but more importantly, it will help couples get a good start on the marriages and possibly discourage some couples who are destined for divorce from the beginning.
Here are some other ideas that are interesting:
• All marriage would have a 1-3 year “trial basis.”
• Couples would be charged with creating their own by laws for the marriage (similar to premarital agreement).
• All business owners do it.
Why not couples? Wouldn’t you want to make your own rules then be subjected to the rules made by the Illinois legislature?
More rigid hurdles for marriage such as a premarital exam.