Having made the decision to move forward with a divorce, it seems rather counterintuitive, and perhaps a waste of time, to sit down with a marriage counselor, but this may be one of the best decisions that a person can make in going through the steps of dissolving a marriage.
During a divorce, a couple is going to have to decide about the division of assets, including whether or not to sell the family home and how to allocate retirement assets and personal property. If there are children, it will be necessary to discuss the custody arrangement, whether legal custody will be shared, visitation schedules, and the overall best interests of the children. In many marriages that have gotten to the point of divorce, communication has become a challenge. A counselor can help facilitate positive discussions in order to accomplish the best outcome for everyone.
A marriage counselor is skilled in helping couples to talk about the following:
- Open communication;
- Substance abuse;
- Cultural or social differences; and
- Any difficulties with the in-laws.
All of these issues will feature prominently in a divorce action. Even relationships with the in-laws will play a role in deciding visitation for the grandparents and what role they will play in the children’s lives. A marriage counselor can help the couple to talk through the various issues in an effective manner. Specifically, a therapist or counselor will:
- Assist the parties in getting through the negative emotions in order to move forward;
- Facilitate the process of determining what the priorities are for each person – when experiencing the challenges of a divorce, a person may fixate on certain things while overlooking his true wants and needs;
- Help each person to articulate what matters most to him or her;
- Enable each spouse to bring to the table his or her “must haves” without alienating the other person;
- Allow the parties to reach compromises and mutually beneficial solutions; and
- Assist the parties in addressing unresolved issues – many times, there are serious, but unspoken, concerns that create much of the conflict in a divorce. By learning how to discuss these things in a productive manner, it can help the couple make all the decisions necessary to get through the process of divorce.
A counselor also can help each person deal with their emotional response to the divorce and provide him or her with some suggestions for managing the impact that the divorce may have on any children in the marriage. However, it is important to keep in mind that there are many situations where a counselor is not in the best interest of both parties. If there is abuse in the marriage, a forced interaction may do far more harm than good. In addition, when one person is completely committed to obtaining a divorce and the other party is trying to find a reason to keep his or her spouse in the marriage, counseling may only prolong the disputes. It is important to make the decision that works for the specific needs of the divorcing couple.
Although a marriage counselor may not stop the process of divorce, he or she may provide the divorcing parties with the skills and tools that they need to get through the termination of their marriage with the best possible resolution for everyone.
The Micklin Law Group, LLC Advocates for Individuals Going Through a New Jersey Divorce
When a person has made the decision to get a divorce, there are many issues that will figure prominently during the time it takes to dissolve the marriage. Whether or not a therapist is the right decision for you, it is important to have legal counsel who will fight hard to protect your interests. The New Jersey divorce attorneys at The Micklin Law Group, LLC are committed to getting you the results that you need. To schedule an initial consultation, call The Micklin Law Group, LLC at (973) 562-0100.