Are couples getting divorced required to attend marriage counseling? 25 Answers as of June 10, 2013

Will couples who are going to ask for a dissolution of marriage be required to go to counseling if children are involved?

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Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Not in New York state any longer. Many years ago that was the case, but not any longer. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/13/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
No. A court will rarely require the parties to attend marriage counseling. It may occur if both parties express some reservation about going forward with the divorce.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 5/12/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
In Mobile, the course is, "Helping Children Cope with Divorce." It isn't marriage counseling, and it is attended without the spouse. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/12/2011
Rice & Co., LPA
Rice & Co., LPA | Kollin Rice
Most counties in Ohio require divorcing parents to attend a seminar dealing with the impact of divorce on children and appropriate ways to minimize the harm to children in the course of, and after the divorce or dissolution. This is not counseling intended to solve the problems of your marriage or persuade you not to divorce, which is generally not required. There is a mechanism by which you could attempt to force your spouse to attend marriage counseling in the course of a divorce, though at least one party would need to ask for it - it is not automatic. In fact, it is relatively rare.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 5/12/2011
Berner Law Group, PLLC
Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
Depends what state you live in, I suppose. Washington is a no fault divorce state so that's not required here. If you live in Western Washington, please feel free to call my office to set up a free, no obligation consultation-in person or by phone-with an experienced family law attorney about your case.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/11/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    No, you are not "required" to go to counseling. However, you may be required to take a class on co-parenting or similar. It is a few hours on Saturday.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Harris Law Firm
    Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
    Whether or not you are required to attend counseling or classes depends on where you live. In some counties in Oregon, parents are required to attend a parenting class geared toward helping children through the transition of divorce. No formal marriage counseling is otherwise required. I would contact the family law division of your county court and ask. They would likely know.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    No, not usually. There is the ability in a statute to require one reconciliation counseling session but most attorneys do not know about it and it is ridicules to think it would be effective and I've never seen it asked for or enforced in 21 years. Many counties require parents to go to one parenting class, usually separately.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    In Illinois the parents are required to take a parenting class to educate the parents on how any action of one parent may affect the child this is different from marriage counseling.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Marriage counseling (i.e. to "fix" the marriage) is not required in Colorado. However, parents are required to attend a class that attempts to educate parents about the difficulty that children experience in divorce and how parental conflict is harmful to the children.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    In the first 90 days one spouse may request conciliation procedures whether or not there are children. It will be about 3 sessions long at least, to explore whether or not the marriage can be repaired.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC | Lori C. Obenauf
    In Georgia, many circuits require that parents of minor children who are divorcing attend a 3 hour seminar such as "Families In Transition" as a requirement before the divorce is granted. These seminars are offered at various times and locations to accommodate as many people as possible. There are on line classes that are also court approved that the court may accept if one is unable to personally attend the seminar. The cost of the classes run from $30 - 35 per person. The court clerk in the county where the divorce is filed should be able to inform you as to that court's requirements.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    No.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Keri Burnstein, P.C.
    Keri Burnstein, P.C. | Keri Burnstein
    Michigan is a no fault divorce state. Counseling is not required.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    No.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    No, not required to go to counseling but may be required to go to custody and visitation mediation. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the first office visit. I know people worry about how expensive a lawyer is, so I am careful to be as inexpensive as I can for my clients. Before you spend a dime, you will know how much this is likely to be.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    It depends on what county the case is filed in. In Los Angeles County, parents going through a divorce are required to go to the PACT program which is more an educational program than a counseling program. The Court doesn't require counseling, but under certain circumstances, a party may file a Motion seeking an order for counseling where necessary and/or appropriate for the children's welfare. If you want such an Order, you should consult with an experienced Family Law Attorney regarding the problems for which you wish family counseling.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq.
    Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq. | Kelly Broadbent
    In Massachusetts it is not required to go to counseling when seeking a divorce, however, if children are involved, the parties are required to take a class about children in divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    No, you do not need to attend marriage counseling to get a divorce. California is a no-fault state. One spouse only needs to check a box on the divorce petition indicating that there are "irreconcilable differences." Once the petition is filed with the court, a case is opened.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    In Washington State, no marriage counseling is required, although you each (separately) will have to attend a parenting seminar where children are involved.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP
    Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP | Paul M. Teinert
    In Orange County, if minor children are involved, there is a mandatory mediation requirement. This mediation is only for the purposes of establishing custody and a visitation plan for the children.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    California does not require any kind of marriage counseling classes. If there are Domestic Violence claims made in the case, then counseling may become an issue, but it will NOT be marriage counseling.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
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