Can the Judge Order Marriage Counseling?
Judges do not usually order marriage counseling. They do not believe that it is one of their duties when settling a divorce case. Even if a judge did order counseling, the judge cannot force the couple to participate. Marriage counseling is complex and if the two parties agree on a divorce, it is easier to go through the process without it.
Ordering Marriage Counseling
In states where there are fault divorce and no-fault divorces, marriage counseling may be more common. For instance, one person could file for divorce on the basis that his or her partner has ongoing behavior issues that cause problems within the marriage. During a divorce of this claim, either of the spouses can request counseling.
If counseling is requested, the judge can order up to three sessions to be completed within three or four months. Marriage counseling can be performed by several different individuals. For instance, you could go to a psychiatrist, counselor or religious leader. If ordered to go to counseling, the person you choose does have to be approved by the court.
If you have children, the judge may also order counseling. In some cases, the children should have two united parents. If the marriage is not salvageable, however, then it is always better for the parents to be separated.
Requesting Marriage Counseling
Now, if one of the spouses requests marriage counseling, the judge does not have to grant the request. If a spouse wants marriage counseling, then he or she must provide proof that the marriage is worth saving or that it can be saved. This is difficult to prove though, as each spouse may have a different perception of the divorce or the relationship.
If there is one issue, such as financial issues, then a spouse could argue that if counseling could help them overcome it, their relationship could still work. Sometimes, marriage counseling can resolve issues in a marriage, but it is not always smart to rely on counseling to fix all of the problems in a marriage.
Judges do have the authority to order marriage counseling, but it is uncommon that they would do so. In most cases, if they do order counseling it is because one of the spouses requested it. If you’re considering marriage counseling or if you think that your spouse will request it, then talking to a family lawyer, from a firm like The McKinney Law Group, may be of some help to you.