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Can the Court Make You Go to Marriage Counseling Before a Divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2021 | Divorce

Do you want to know why “can the court make you go to marriage counseling before a divorce?” Or perhaps your partner has applied for a divorce that you do not want, and you would like to compel him or her to attend counseling with you?

Although it is uncommon, courts can force spouses to attend marriage counseling before sealing a divorce. A court, in most states, can mandate it if they believe there is a chance of reconciliation. If one partner requests it, some states make it mandatory. Others leave the decision to a court to decide whether or not to approve the motion.

Other types of education or therapy sessions are more likely to be ordered by courts. The kind you may have to attend depends on the state, in which you are divorcing and your particular scenario.

What Essentially Is Marriage Counseling Requested BY A Court?

Marriage counseling is exactly what it sounds like, and you should undergo it by judge’s order before the court can issue you a divorce. The meetings are normally comparable to any other type of marriage counseling, with the goal of attempting to save your union. Even though a court might mandate it by themselves, it is most typically requested by the respondent (the partner who did not file) to salvage the union.

State law may necessitate the judge to do his or her own evaluation of your union to determine whether it may be salvaged. If you file for divorce on the grounds of an implacable foe, but the court sees some chance of reconciliation, some state demands this counseling.

Generally, the judge will order counseling for a set number of visits or a specified period. For instance, Florida statutes permit the judge to “request either or both spouses to meet with a marriage counselor, or any other individual considered eligible.” Furthermore, they should attend these sessions for a reasonable period of not more than three months.

You should go, and the counselor normally acknowledges your presence to the judge. What’s more, the court has the authority to determine who covers the cost of the counseling sessions.

What Is The Frequency Of Court-Ordered Marriage Counseling?

It is unusual for the judge to require this type of counseling. For one thing, even if one partner requests it, most states do not mandate it. Judges can award a divorce even without the respondent’s agreement under no-fault rules; thus, it is unnecessary to ensure both parties participate.

Most states also exclude domestic violence victims from having to attend marriage therapy, even if it might otherwise be necessary. And counseling is hardly effective unless both sides are willing to cooperate. The judge can request you to attend counseling sessions, but it cannot compel you to make a genuine commitment in those meetings. As a result, they are likely to waste both sides’ money and time while achieving little, if anything.

Considering state regulations differ significantly, it is a good idea to consult with a Tacoma Divorce Attorney if you have any queries concerning court-ordered counseling, including how to request it. To get started, contact Alliance Law firm at 253-300-2055.

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