It is commonplace for couples to seek out counseling from a trained therapist when they are having difficulties with their marriage. The marriage therapist can help couples identify and address trouble areas like communication, conflict resolution and other issues. While this might offer solutions you were hoping for, there is also pre-divorce and post-divorce counseling.
Some may wonder if it is a waste of time to go counseling for a marriage that has broken down, but divorce counseling has different goals than marriage counseling. Mainly, it prepares couples for divorce and life after their marriage.
How does pre-divorce counseling work?
This can help the couple is determining whether the marriage is over or as preparation for the divorce process. Some attorneys are extremely helpful in working with couples during the mediation process to resolve the details of dividing assets, parenting agreements and other issues. Counseling, however, can help clients to determine what they really need, how they really feel, and why they feel this way.
This can be extremely helpful for those with children for several reasons:
- The divorce will be more civil and healthier, and thus less traumatic for the kids.
- This approach can provide a solid example of how the family can respectfully treat each other as it moves forward.
- It can help you with strategies for telling the children about the divorce and arm them with strategies for dealing with this earthshaking shift.
- It can provide parents with tools to draft a parenting agreement that works for everyone.
- It can help identify areas of conflict and confusion.
- It can provide healthy coping strategies for when issues arise.
What purpose does post-divorce counseling serve?
No matter how healthy the split is, there will be times where there are heightened emotions and disruptions that can cause frustrations. These may even have more to do with a fear of the unknown than anything involving the divorce itself. Counselors will also often work on building self-esteem and self-confidence so you can reclaim your life.
Is it really necessary?
The need for counseling depends upon you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. Many find it helpful, particularly in recognizing why the marriage came apart and how to avoid repeating it. While a family law attorney can help protect parental rights, divide assets and handle other details of the divorce, counseling helps with the healing process.