Is Marriage Counseling Required in Florida Contested Divorces?
Divorce is never easy. You may feel frustrated, angry, and resentful of your spouse. Even with the many emotions involved, divorce is still a legal process and it is governed by many state laws. For example, couples who are getting a contested divorce have to go through mediation before they enter litigation in some counties. Couples often wonder what else they will be required to do, and that could include marriage counseling. You may have already considered marriage counseling if you have gotten to the point of divorce, but will a judge order it? Below, our Tampa divorce attorney explains.
State Law Does Not Mandate Marriage Counseling
As with most other states, Florida law does not require couples to go through marriage counseling before they get a divorce. Still, for many people, marriage counseling can be very beneficial.
Some people run into problems in their marriage and think divorce is the only option when it is not. Marriage counseling can help spouses see that they still love each other and that they can work out the problems in their marriage. However, in order for marriage counseling to be successful, both parties must be open to the idea and must actively participate. If one party is against the idea of marriage counseling, it likely will not work, regardless of how enthusiastic their spouse is about it.
Judges Can Order Marriage Counseling
Although marriage counseling is not required for divorcing couples under the law, there are still instances when a judge can order it. This usually only happens in contested cases and couples obtaining an uncontested divorce are almost never ordered to go to marriage counseling. Generally speaking, there are only two times when a judge will order marriage counseling during a divorce process and it is very rare. These are when:
- The grounds for divorce are contested: As a no-fault divorce state, a spouse filing for divorce in Florida must only state that the marital relationship is irretrievably broken and that there is no chance of reconciliation. If the other spouse argues that the two parties could still make the marriage work, a judge may order counseling.
- The divorce case involves children: Divorces that involve children are some of the most difficult cases. A divorce can cause children a great deal of stress and parents may not always know how to co-parent effectively afterward. To protect children from the stress of divorce, and to provide parents with strategies for moving forward, a judge may order counseling either for the couple or for the whole family.
Our Tampa Contested Divorce Attorneys Can Provide Sound Legal Advice
There is a lot to know when going through a divorce and you may not understand all of the different laws that apply to your case. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our Tampa contested divorce attorneys can advise you of the law and guide you through the process so this difficult time is made as easy as possible for you. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to request a free consultation and to obtain more information. Se habla Español.