Marriage Counseling and Divorce

Many couples who are facing the aspect of divorce have already gone to marriage counseling. Perhaps they did everything to save their marriage, but it’s just not working. Now they are looking at divorce. Can a court force the couple to go back to marriage counseling?

Court-Ordered Counseling

If a judge feels the couple is in a situation in which one or both of them will regret the decision to divorce, he or she may order marriage counseling. Divorce can get expensive, and getting remarried to each other later is a hassle, so judges will do everything possible to avoid those high costs. When a judge orders counseling, it’s most likely for one of the following reasons:

  • Parenting – If a court has noticed both spouses aren’t doing so well at putting their children’s needs first during the divorce proceedings, the judge might order counseling. This is a time where both spouses can learn better parenting techniques and how to keep their children from being affected by the drama of the divorce. Marriage counseling to save the marriage of a couple with young children might also be an effort to give those children a home with two parents until they are older.
  • Petty Disagreement – Sometimes a judge can just see that the couple is divorcing over a petty disagreement. Maybe they can’t agree on a big purchase, or an issue with the kids has gotten in the way. A judge may order the couple to try and work it out through counseling.

Requesting Counseling

If a judge doesn’t order counseling, but you or your spouse feel there is still hope for the marriage, one of you can request the judge orders counseling. You would have to provide good evidence that the marriage is still salvageable. The judge would then make a decision based on the evidence you provide. Although judges can order counseling, they can’t order cooperation. One spouse might attend just to check it off the list of things that have to happen before the divorce will proceed. Keep that in mind so you don’t get discouraged when your requested counseling doesn’t pan out as you had hoped.

When Counseling Doesn’t Work

Marriage counseling isn’t always going to work. There are circumstances when one spouse refuses to participate. There are other circumstances in which the marriage and the arguments become worse because deeper issues are unearthed. If counseling isn’t working, or if you need help with your divorce, contact a family lawyer in Lake Forest, IL, like from Hurst, Robin & Kay, today.