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Is Marriage Counseling Required for a Florida Divorce?


Divorce is never easy and if you have chosen to end your marriage, there are many laws that will govern the process. For example, most couples must enter mediation before litigating their case if they cannot agree to all terms of the divorce. Even when parents do agree to the terms of divorce, they must still take a parenting course to learn how to co-parent afterwards. These laws have led many people to wonder if marriage counseling is also required during the divorce process. Whether you have already considered counseling, or you are reluctant about the idea, our Orlando divorce lawyer explains more below.

Marriage Counseling is Not Required by Florida Law 

Like the majority of states in the country, Florida does not require couples to try marriage counseling before getting a divorce. For some couples, though, marriage counseling may be a good idea. When people go through marriage counseling, it can show them that they still have a lot of love for each other and that they may be able to work through their problems. Still, for marriage counseling to work, both parties must be open to the process and actively participate. Regardless of how eager a person is, if their spouse does not want to attend marriage counseling, it will not work.

Judges May Order Marriage Counseling 

While couples are not required to try marriage counseling before getting a divorce, family law judges can still use their discretion and order it if they think it is appropriate. If you and your spouse are getting an uncontested divorce, it is highly unlikely that a judge would order marriage counseling. Judges typically only order marriage counseling during a divorce trial. Even then, a judge would likely only issue such an order in the following situations:

  • One spouse disputes the divorce: Even though Florida is a no-fault divorce state, one spouse may still dispute the divorce. The spouse who wants to end the marriage may file based on no-fault grounds, but the other party may argue that reconciliation is possible. In this case, a judge may order the couple to go to marriage counseling.
  • There are children involved: Parents are required to attend parenting classes before getting a divorce that involves minor children. However, a judge may also order a couple to marriage counseling when a divorce involves minor children. Marriage counseling may make a couple realize that they want to continue working on the marriage and save the children from the difficulty of the divorce process.

If a family law judge does order a couple to go through marriage counseling, it is important that both parties comply with the order.

Our Divorce Lawyer in Orlando Can Advise On All Aspects of Your Case 

At Anderson & Ferrin, our Orlando divorce lawyer understands the laws that govern the process and will advise you of these so you obtain the best possible outcome. Call us now at 407-412-7041 or contact us online to request a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.



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