|Bill Number||:||HB 1413 and SB 2438|
|Bill Sponsor||:||Rep. Murzin and Sen. Storms|
The bill seeks to expand the effectiveness of Florida’s current Family Law Handbook. Every couple seeking a marriage license is provided with a copy of the handbook. Rather than offering principles and concepts to help the couple plan a successful marriage, the handbook offers detailed information about ending a marital relationship. The bill provides for the appointment of a Marriage Education Committee of marriage and family advocates to compile resources and tools to be included in the handbook that will aid couples in developing a stronger relationship and prepare them for long-term marital success. Other states have much better utilized their Marriage Handbook. Some examples are Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas.
|CLICK HERE||:||for text of bill|
|CLICK HERE||:||for current status on this bill|
To see samples of the Marriage Handbooks used in other states, CLICK HERE
Helping couples to be as prepared as possible before their wedding day allows them to enter their marriage relationship with eyes wide open. Florida law currently encourages couples to seek pre-marital preparation and provides a discount on the marriage license fee if the couple completes 4 hours of marriage education. (Florida Statute 741.0305).
Mike McManus shares about his experience studying the impact that marriage education has:
“Studies indicate that those who break an engagement have the same scores as those who marry and later divorce. They have avoided a bad marriage before it begins. For example, in the church of Mike & Harriet McManus, of 288 couples who prepared for marriage from 1992-2000, 21 dropped out of the course, mostly to break up. Another 34 couples completed the process, and decided not to marry. That’s 55 couples who decided NOT to marry -- is a high 19% dropout rate. However, of those couples who did marry, there have been only seven divorces, a 97% success rate over a decade. That's marriage insurance.” (http://www.marriagesavers.org/sitems/SavingMarriages/whatisacmp.htm)
Studies show that the money spent on marriage education programs eventually saves taxpayers major costs from the financial burden of fragmented families that comes about by divorce and unwed childbearing (increased poverty, increased crime, higher drop-out rate, lower productivity. etc.)
The PREP research findings show a 50% reduction in divorce 9 years out (multiple longitudinal studies with this finding with randomized controls) with no other intervention other than the original premarital 8 hr skills course.
Studies bearing this statistical fact include:
Making A Case for Premarital Education
A 9-page article by Scott Stanley about advancing the argument in favor of preventative premarital education.
Community-Based Premarital Prevention
A 10-page study reporting the dissemination of an empirically based premarital education program within religious organizations.
Marriage Education and Government Policy
A 7-page pamphlet about the importance of relationship education through the implementation of government policy.
Acting On What We Know: The Hope of Prevention
A 32-page paper about the most effective ways to successfully
take action to prevent divorce.
Among scholars and researchers, both liberals and conservatives agree on these findings and recommendations about marriage preparation.