Utah lawmaker targets women with new divorce barriers so men aren’t ‘surprised’ – Alabama Also Considering It

Utah lawmaker targets women with new divorce barriers so men aren’t ‘surprised’

Maybe Utah wouldn’t have so much divorce if it didn’t have so much early marriage (see this post: (Link): Rush to early marriage feeds Utah’s higher-than-average divorce rate (article)).

By the way, that some politician and state lawmakers believe that married couples need to take state-ordered classes on how to be married only supports the fact that marriage does NOT automatically make people mature, godly, or ethical, as so many Christians often assume or believe (and see this post for examples – (Link): Marriage Does Not Make People More Mature or Godly).

Some articles are saying this applies to parents? So if you are a childless or child free couple, you don’t have to take this course?

(Link): How Utah may make it harder to get a divorce

    By Annie Knox, Associated Press / February 25, 2014

Utah was the first in the nation in 1994 to require that couples complete a two-hour, $55 seminar before courts will finalize a divorce. Now, a Utah lawmaker wants to make divorce a little harder.

(Link): House passes bill requiring divorcing parents to take course sooner

(Link): For Utah Parents, Hurdle to Divorce Could Advance

(Link): Ala. looks at mandating divorce classes for parents

    • MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Parents considering divorce could face mandatory class time if a bill in the Alabama Legislature becomes law.
  • The bill, sponsored by GOP Rep. Bill Poole of Northport, Ala., would require couples with children younger than 16 to take a four-hour class to increase parents’ sensitivity to their children’s needs during a divorce or separation proceeding. The House Judiciary Committee has approved it unanimously.

(Link): Utah may double down on divorce classes for parents

    Utah was the first in the nation in 1994 to require that couples complete what’s now a two-hour, $55 seminar before courts will finalize a split. Now, a lawmaker is proposing to require that couples take at least part of the course earlier, hoping that it can reduce a divorce rate among those couples with children.

(Link): For Utah parents, hurdle to divorce could advance

(Link): Utah lawmaker targets women with new divorce barriers so men aren’t ‘surprised’

      • By David Edwards

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 16:20 EST

Utah state Rep. Jim Nielson (R) says that he is sponsoring a bill to force divorcing couples to take classes because he says that men are often “surprised” when women want to end the marriage.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Nielson had filed a bill that would require couples to take part of mandatory divorces classes even sooner than the law required when Utah became the first state with the mandate in 1994. Nielson would like to see couples take at least half of the $55 two-hour classes at the beginning of divorce process.

While Nielson told The AP that he hoped the classes would reduce the divorce rate in Utah, he was even more specific about his goals earlier this month on an Internet show called DadsDivorce.com.

“The friends that I have that have gone through a divorce, most of the people that I know personally that have gone through that personally are men,” Nielson explained to host Matt Allen. “And my sense, at least from the men that I interact with, is that they’ve usually been surprised by the divorce request, by the filing.”

The lawmaker pointed out that most men were in “the position of the respondent, and the ones that I know generally have also been greatly distressed by it, wished that there had been an opportunity to reconcile and to find a way to reconcile.”

“So if I’m correct that more of the filers are women than men — and that’s based on just anecdotal information — then I think what this course does, which basically mandates that before you file, the filer… has to take this course,” he continued. “That individual — often a woman — will be aware of alternatives, will be aware of the impact, will be aware of the consequences and know what the process will be to his or her family.”
/// end article

Comments by other people on that page who I agree with, at least in part, or ones I may not necessarily agree with but find interesting:

by Maria R

    this is hysterical. I told him [ex husband] for years I wasn’t happy, worked with him, moved out, still worked with him, and he was SHOCKED when I filed for divorced. Seriously – you can’t legislate stupid.

by amyjane2484
Most women I know have come to the end and made the decision and continued to act married while they got their ducks in a row. Men don’t get it because wifey stops arguing because it no longer matters. So men think everything is OK. And they are surprised.

by nothingoes
Among the couples I know who have divorced many of the men were blindsided by the wife’s decision to file. In my opinion this is simply because the man was tone deaf when there were problems in the marriage that needed to be addressed.

As long as it was status quo, no problems (as far as HE can see….)

Making her attend some idiotic classes or therapy which she has to pay for is a sexist and stupid idea. I can’t see how this could be constitutional.

by Sabyen91 reply to nothingoes
I think in a lot of cases when men don’t “see” these things it is because they don’t want to deal with it. That shit is hard. I know I am guilty of that on occasion.

by Paul Zink
Because we men are so clueless, we’re the last to hear the penny drop, so we need “warning”. What an idiot.

by Eleanore Fontenelle
My ex and I hadn’t shared a bedroom let alone had sex in almost 2 years and he still was Surprised when I filed for divorce and told mutual friends “I didn’t even know we were having problems.”
Oh, really? So yeah oblivious men will be surprised no matter what. Yeah, ex and I did couples therapy 3 times, didn’t help in the long run.

by Renee Goodwin
I see many of the women had the same thoughts that I did, the reason the man is usually surprised is either he is too clueless to realize his wife has been unhappy, he didn’t realize that she finally got brave enough to file for divorce, perhaps because he thought he had beaten all thoughts of resisting out of her mind.
Or that she was too afraid of him to file for divorce

• by TomJoad
If this flies as law in Utah, I would encourage all current single women of sound independent mind to run as fast as you can out of Utah if that is your state of residence or never under any circumstances set one foot over the state line for any reason whatsoever.

Utah overnight will become a backwoods and backward shithole of angry, lonely, clueless, mysogynist dumbasses.

Of course, there are plenty of Mormon women who would happily knuckle under and toe the line for this sub-human treatment, but I am guessing that them good ole high religion Mormon women are economically insignificant to the state as a whole, as being barefoot and pregnant like a breeding sow during her fertile years seems to be the only worth women have to these shit heads.

• by Rick Hill
Better known as the “give the man a chance to hide his assets” bill.

• by Douglas Cave
If a man is completely surprised by a divorce, he wasn’t paying enough attention to his wife in the first place. Women file for divorce to save themselves and their children from a situation where they cannot be fully themselves. Thus, they cannot be fully available for their children AND themselves.

No man gets to make a woman hold her head low, just for his comfort.

by Catherine Anne Smith
Let me see if I got this right. The problem, as this soon-to-be-ex-lawmaker sees it, is that men are often surprised & distressed when their wives file for divorce.

So, he sees the solution as forcing the WIVES, who do not have this problem, to fix the men’s problems with distressed cluelessness? Maybe, just maybe, part of the reason the wives are filing for divorce is that their husbands are clueless?

It seems to me that if one person in a marriage is having a problem, it is that person’s responsibility to fix their problem.

This soon-to-be-ex-lawmaker did not say the filing wives had a problem, but he hopes they might re-consider filing for a divorce if they knew the ramifications of that divorce, not on themselves, but on their, hopefully soon-to-be-ex-husbands & their children? Did I get that right?

So, he wants to guilt the wives of the clueless husband into taking alternative action? So, implication, the clueless, distressed ex-husband is not responsible for his cluelessness, nor his distress, but his wife is?

• by shieldvulf
Another “women are stupid and need some mansplaining before they try to make real decisions, the precious, painted flibbertigibbets” bill.

MY experience is that the guilty always proclaim their innocence to whatever gullible lawmakers will listen to them, as in “Golly, I had no IDEA she was fed up with my bullshit! All she had to do was ask me politely to ease up on the bullshit! I thought she enjoyed bullshit.”

• by Finnsmom1
Ego is the reason a man is surprised when a woman leaves him. How is this a woman’s problem?

by Miguel Caparros
Is it not the function of the churches to serve in this function? Are these men so weak and such slime that they are embarrassed about what their minister would tell them? Be a man take responsibility, more often than not the man is at fault!

by larueb reply to Miguel Caparros
Actually, what would happen, is the church would ‘guilt’ these women into staying. You would be surprised at how many Bible verses can be used against a person, to make them stay in a relationship that is horrible, or even deadly for a person.

by Teal_Cuttlefish
My ex 25 years ago was taken by surprise, despite the fact I hadn’t let him touch me in months. He thought he had me subdued and cowed to the point I wouldn’t have the will or sense to leave.

As soon as I realized not everyone had a marriage as emotionallt abusive as mine, I got the heck out. I’ve now been remarried for 21 and 3/4 years with few fights and a working partnership.

It took him by surprise because he wouldn’t expect the couch to get up and leave, either. Posessions stay put.

by ladyfrancesca reply to Teal_Cuttlefish
There are so many different forms of domestic abuse besides physical. The primary ones include: emotional, psychological, verbal abuse (demeaning, belittling, dismissive, diminishing, manipulation, crazy-making, gas lighting, etc), financial (withholding, deceiving, etc), and sexual (coercion, force).

I too, got the heck out after a long marriage ordeal and eventually remarried a wonderful man. I remember asking my husband (ex) if he wanted to go to counseling and of course, he said “No” and “I know more than those idiots do.”

Abusers abuse because they benefit from it and for someone to become of aware of what they do, exposes and depowers them.

He (ex) was surprised when I filed for divorce, as well, but he shouldn’t have been.

This representative pushing this bill is relying solely on anecdotal tales. He has no facts nor evidence-based research or facts.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he was an abusive man himself. Why he feels the need to keep women in their place, speaks volumes.

The increased role of woman being empowered threatens these men who have held the power and status quo for far too long.

This bill is nothing more than an attempt to prevent women from protecting themselves emotionally and financially, and this bill’s sole purpose is to protect men and allow them time to hide or redirect assets. What a fraud, and he’s a transparent fraud at that.

by Teal_Cuttlefish reply to Captain Cassidy
He [the ex husband] did ask to go after I walked out. Told the counselot [sic – counselor], teary-eyed, he didn’t know what happened.

I proceeded to tell him, in detail: the isolation, the criticism, the assumption I was property, the backhanded compliments…

On the second visit, the marriage counselor suggested he seek therapy. Later that week he said he didn’t need therapy. Apparently we were going so I could be fixed. I filed that week.

Emotional abuse was not yet recognized by many people. I wasn’t beaten, why did I feel I had to leave? Because I was the only one putting in any effort. He couldn’t be bothered, but he could tell me what I was doing wrong. I have never regretted leaving, even if I did still care about him. I couldn’t live that way.

by Captain Cassidy reply to Teal_Cuttlefish
Thank you for sharing that. I apologize if it stirred up some old bad feelings. I think it’s important to talk about how this stuff works out in the real world.

I had the same kind of experience when I “surprised” my husband (a Pentecostal preacher!) that way [with divorce].

Any therapy was going to involve fixing *me*, not making him change or challenging his privilege in any way at all. As Keetakat has pointed out, that’s pretty much what this bill will do as well.

by keetakat reply to Teal_Cuttlefish
“Apparently we were going [to the marriage counselor] so I could be fixed. “

Exactly. That is, by this man’s own admission, what this mandate is for… Fixing the “broken women” who have the nerve (will) to want out.

by TXfemmom reply to stingray68
Every man who gets blindsided in a divorce is usually someone whose wife has really been abused, walked over, trampled and mistreated and suddenly developed a spine.

by the moother
If more women file for divorce than men, wouldn’t it show that there were more dead-beat husbands than there were vindictive women?

by Captain Cassidy reply to stingray68
I can’t help but think the specific language he’s using, like the term”surprised,” comes from one of his constituents or something, complaining at him about how easy it is for those dumb ole women to ditch their loving husbands.

No-fault divorce is not the cause of divorce. It’s not even a cause of people not taking marriage “seriously.” For that, we must look elsewhere.

Making marriage more risky and difficult for women especially is not going to make more people want to go into it.

by AmyKatt
Perhaps, in order to save men from being the recipients of that all-too-common surprise divorce, we should require that women initiate an early warning system:

1. Notification of Being Somewhat Miffed
2. Advisement of Moderate Annoyance
3. Statement of Irritation
4. Proclamation of Discontent
5. Declaration of Irasability
6. Report of Extreme Vexation

by SadieGirl51
“men are often “surprised” – No I don’t think so. They can pretend they are because they never want to deal with issues.

If they hear the words “we need to talk”, you might as well hit them with a 2×4.

Generally there are a lot of red flags first.

Either the woman has been miserable for years or one or the other or both, have gone outside the marriage.

This guy acts like only men are surprised – women get surprised by their husbands all the time. People get married – people get divorced. In this day and age, people often do not want to work at a marriage. And it is work.

by circeherbivora
My friends husband might have been caught off guard, but he might have been less “surprised” if he was aware that she’d found out about the hookers he was using.

by Captain Cassidy reply to Annie Snyder
She [the wife divorcing the spouse] wouldn’t be footing the bill. The couples themselves must not only pay for this “counseling” but also find transportation to and from the sessions and find time off from their jobs–which might not be the high-end ones that let people just come and go as they please; most low-wage jobs will fire you for taking time off, and even if they give you the time off, that’s time you ain’t getting paid, so not only are they paying for the sessions but they are almost certainly losing money from work.

Oh, and if they have kids, who takes care of the kids while Mommy and Daddy are being moralized at? Do these places have paid daycare on site?

And there are more than one of these wretched, vile things, apparently, so they’d have to do all this and risk all this and lose all this more than once.

And this lawmaker thinks this law is going to produce meet-cute moments where the unhappy couple meets each other’s eyes across the classroom and realizes zomg we can totally work this out! and head home to cuddle and watch Netflix in each other’s arms, because all it took was someone telling them that marriage is IMPORTANT and giving them a few getting-along tricks that they obviously will never have heard before that class.

by Laura Meier
If these “surprised” men paid the slightest bit of attention outside themselves and their own needs and wants, they wouldn’t be surprised.

Women aren’t creating this cluelessness in men, and most of us devoted a lot of time and grief to trying to get our husbands to wake the fuck up.

By the time I told my husband I was leaving and filed divorce papers, there was nothing he could have done to “fix” the situation — because I no longer cared.

Annie Snyder
So Utah now wants an “Emotional Equivalent of Transvaginal Ultrasound for Uppity Divorcing Whores and Bitches Bill?” Thanks, Republicans, for making women feel so…outreached to.

• by cinorjer
Then the next step in Utah is to just make divorce illegal unless the man wants it. You know, like those evil Islamists do.

By the way, when did people have the constitutional right not to be surprised by the consequences of their actions?

Seems like deliberately refusing to see the reality of life pretty much insures a nasty surprise or two.

But that’s Republicans for you. They stand in the ruins of their man-made disasters after ignoring all warnings and whine “But nobody could have predicted!”

• by Naithom
Several points to consider:
(1) Why isn’t he doing more than just anecdotal research before he considers making this a law?
(2) Has he considered those women who have orders of protection against these “surprised” husbands?
(3) Who decides how long the therapy lasts and whether one or the other says no?

by Amy Susan Fisher
So let me get this straight. Say this hypothetical married woman in Utah is being badly beaten and abused by her husband, and she has to escape to a battered women’s shelter to hide from him.

She gets a restraining order, which he ignores and goes after her to either force her to return to him or to kill her outright..

She initiates divorce proceedings against him, which according to this asshole lawmaker “surprises” the husband, and they’re forced to take marriage classes before they get divorced?

Will he bring a gun to these marriage classes and shoot up everyone, including the wife?

Will he track her down and beat her up before they even make it to the first class? Will he next start beating up on their kids as a warning to the wife to stay subservient and married to him?

And how’s that Republican outreach to women working out for you, Nielson? Could you possibly come up with a piece of legislation that would make women love you even more?

by Otispfudpucker
So numb nuts, just say a woman is in a very abusive “physical” marriage? When she gets to the point of wanting to get out of it she is to informed the abuser in advance that she intends to divorce him??? These ass wipes do not care one iota about women, and they are trying to make all these draconian laws in order to keep women subjugated..

by Jay Tee
“That individual — often a woman — will be aware of alternatives… will be aware of the consequences and know what the process will be to his or her family.”

Ok. Assuming that there are no children involved, the “consequence” will be that I now have an ex-family, right ??

Gimme my certificate.

• by Wendy B
I filed for divorce. Had to. My husband of less than 2 yrs. had been cheating on me for a few months and I found out when he left me the day after I got hit by a car on the job and 5 months pregnant.
I had gotten him a job at my place and he was cheating with a known “lesbian” woman. *eyeroll* A class that I’d have to pay for would be insult to injury.

by Maybe
This is unnecessary. Filing for divorce is not in itself a divorce. If the spouses want to they can try to work things out.

The article does not state who would offer the courses or decide upon their content, but my gut reaction is that a woman’s duty to serve her husband would likely be featured.

by Kathryn
If a man is surprised when his wife states she wants a divorce, he should look in the mirror to see why he is surprised. Obviously, he was NOT paying attention to his wife or his marriage!

by ganmerlad
“And my sense, at least from the men that I interact with, is that they’ve usually been surprised by the divorce request, by the filing.” If you had been paying more attention to your wife in the first place, maybe she wouldn’t be surprising your neglectful ass with divorce papers.

Patricia Quick Desmond
You have got to be fucking kidding me! Men are usually the mean tempered assholes. It should be no surprise if a woman chooses to divorce him and no class is going to change her mind.

Politicians need to stick to the “business of business”… and Stay OUT of the citizen’s bedrooms & private lives.

If the MAN is caught “off guard”–that’s HIS problem for NOT PAYING ATTENTION. (Same holds true for the Women !!)

Just because one partner was “asleep at the wheel” doesn’t mean the other should be ‘held hostage’ (while the government attempts to ‘wake them up’).

Having been in Emergency Medicine for 22 years–I have seen many (both ‘beat down–and beat up’) spouses that should have EXITED the UNION… before it escalated into the ER !!

No Politician/Lawmaker, no one really KNOWS what goes on behind “closed doors”–except the parties involved. Divorce is a Legal “dissolution of a contract”….. emotionally, and/or religiously it is OUT of the jurisdiction of “The State”.

My own situation became so ’emotionally abusive’ after the birth of a “special needs’ child’… getting OUT was the only way to survive.

After 2 “Marriage Counseling” sessions– both of which the car was pulled over on the way home–and I was screamed at for over 20 minutes each, and chastised for “telling the truth” (I thought you had to be HONEST for it to work)

…. I almost took “another route OUT”. Sitting in a rocking chair with a .38 in my hand–had my son NOT cried at that very moment…. I would not be sitting here typing this !!

That was MY breaking point– No More Talk… No more 2nd, 3rd, and 4th “chances”.

A clean BREAK HAD to be made RIGHT THEN. Had we been “forced” to take ‘government mandated classes’, which would force a delay…. ONE of us would NOT Be here today.

Stick to the Budget “Mein Government”–you have your hands full there !!

Philly Bob reply to Barko_Polo
This IS business… who profits of of these stupid classes??
Look deep and you may find that it’s his wife or brother etc, who benefits from it. 🙂

by Trase Passantino
So this guy is bummed out for his male friends going through divorces, and wants to try and force women to work things out with them. Noooo, that’s not demonstrating bias in any way. What an abuse of power.

If this is truly a cause close to his heart, he needs to stop trying to make divorce difficult specifically for women and instead work the other side of the issue. Leave politics, go back to school, get his MSW and work in the community to help people nurture healthy relationships before it reaches the point of divorce.

Unless, of course, this isn’t really about that at all, and is just about him wielding his power on behalf of his bros.

• ReasonableAntiTheist 8 hours ago
“That individual — often a woman — will be aware of alternatives, will be aware of the impact, will be aware of the consequences and know what the process will be to his or her family.”
Mansplain on! The little women don’t REEEALLY know what they want! (The GOP is a never-ending train wreck of crazy.)

by JamieHaman
Men know….they heard plenty of begging, pleading, otherwise known as bi*chin and nagging about the problems in their marriages.

The men just didn’t think those women meant it when they said blah blah blah…that the men chose to hear.

That said, what is the Republican Lawmakers unhealthy interest in other people’s bedroom activities, lives, and medical decisions? Whatever that sick interest is…it isn’t smaller government!

(To be consist here, liberals and Democrats also take an “unhealthy interest in other people’s bedroom activities, lives, and medical decisions”)

Related posts this blog:

(Link):  Why Don’t Some Men Realize A Relationship Is Over Until It’s Too Late? by N. Reilly

(Link): Dear Abby – She Wants A Divorce From the Husband Who Hid His Vulnerable Narcissism (Emotional Abuse, Extreme Pessimism, Victim Mentality, etc) While They Were Dating

(Link): American Christian Divorce Rates Vs Atheists and Other Groups – throws a pall over Christian Fairy Tale Teachings about Marriage

(Link): Study: Conservative Protestants’ divorce rates spread to their red state neighbors

(Link): Remarriage rates plunge as divorced Americans have doubts – and about Christian culture and divorce and remarriage vs singleness (2013)


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