Is Marriage Counseling Required During Divorce?

Not everyone going through the divorce process actually wants the divorce. As a divorce lawyer in Alameda County, CA from a law specialist like can explain, there are several spouses who do everything they can to save the marriage, even when the other spouse is completely done. When that one spouse wants to save the marriage, he or she might request that a judge order marriage counseling. Is that possible? At what point would a judge order the couple to go to therapy?

Court-Ordered Marriage Therapy

While it’s a rare occurrence, a judge can order a couple to attend a certain amount of marriage therapy sessions before the divorce will be granted. This is rare, because when a state abides by a no-fault law for divorce, the court doesn’t need the other spouse’s consent to finalize the divorce. It’s also rare because a great number of divorces are the result of domestic abuse, and victims would never be required to go to therapy. 

The courts also understand that unless both spouses want to save the marriage, therapy doesn’t often work, so it ends up being a waste of time and money. In some cases, however, the judge can see that the differences between the couple can be worked out with a little help from a professional, and that is when court-ordered marriage therapy might be required.

Other Types of Therapy

Marriage therapy isn’t the only type of counseling a couple might be required to attend during the divorce process. Especially if children are involved, the couple might be court-ordered to attend:

  • Parenting classes – These educational classes help parents gain an accurate understanding of how their situation is affecting their children. It teaches parents how to put their children’s best interests first even though they would each like custody to go in their own favor.
  • Family therapy – It might help children and extended family members cope with the divorce if they are all in a few family therapy sessions together. Working with each other and a professional, the entire family can learn how to manage the conflicts that come up during divorce.
  • Divorce therapy – Even when a couple knows divorce is the best option, they might not know how to manage the situation in a healthy and productive way. Divorce therapy teaches couples how to get through all the strenuous processes that come up, and teaches them how to communicate effectively.

Contact a Family Lawyer

Working through a divorce can be difficult on the entire family. Whether a judge ordered you to attend marriage therapy or another type of class, it is often for your benefit. Contact a family lawyer if you’re looking for someone to help you through your divorce.