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Ballot initiative proposes mandatory premarital classes

Ballot initiative proposes mandatory premarital classes

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A new ballot initiative proposes mandatory premarital education before a couple weds.

According to the Denver Post, Kids Against Divorce wants a measure on November's ballot requiring premarital education. Ten hours for first-time marriages, 20 hours if it's either the bride's or groom's second marriage and 30 if it's the third. The measure still needs to gather the required number of signatures to go on the November ballot.

Dr. Dave Stephens, a licensed psychologist who has been offering premarital counseling for more than 20 years, said premarital counseling provides a solid foundation for marriage and that it can teach couples skills necessary for a successful marriage.

"(Skills like) managing expectations, and also disappointments that sometimes come along with unmet expectations. So how do they manage those without it pushing them apart," he said.

Si Niswonger, a Colorado Springs resident said he and his wife went through premarital education more than a decade ago. He supports it.

"I feel it was a great benefit to us because it gives you a foundation to know what marriage is going to be, what you can expect and know that when you go through trials and tribulations, it's normal," he said.

Both Niswonger and Stephens said premarital education/counseling should be a choice, not a requirement.

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