ST. PAUL, Minn. — A proposal before Minnesota lawmakers would make it a requirement that parents with minor children take a marriage dissolution course before their divorce case could proceed.

The bill being introduced Thursday in the Senate includes some good-cause waivers, such as not being able to afford the four-hour class. Similar proposals have been tried before, but Democratic Sen. John Marty says past problems now have been worked out. The bill has a bipartisan list of sponsors.

Marty says the courses are designed to help parents considering divorce plan ahead for new financial and custody concerns they'll face. He says it's possible the courses could aid in reconciliation.

Marty says the bill isn't meant to put up obstacles to divorce and judges retain some discretion to issue divorce decrees without course completion.