Burke Levy, P.C.

Will a marriage counselor suggest a family law action?

Many Massachusetts couples want to give their marriage every chance of success before they consider ending the union. For some, couples' counseling is one way to try and reconnect. A marriage counselor works to try and help couples find common ground and redefine their marriage on healthier terms. There are cases, however, when a counselor will suggest that a family law attorney may be the next step on a couple's path. 

In general, therapists make every effort to avoid telling their clients what to do and what not to do. Instead, they try to serve as active listeners, and will guide the sessions to help couples unearth issues and improve communication patterns. Even when asked, many will refrain from giving direct advice. 

That generalization does not apply, however, to situations in which there seems to be abuse or risk of harm. If a therapist believes that one or both spouses are abusive in the relationship, the therapist may suggest that the couple pursue a divorce. That can be a bitter pill to swallow for one or even both spouses, but in those situations the therapist must act to preserve the safety of the client(s).

When there is no abuse present in a relationship, Massachusetts spouses should consider giving counseling a try prior to ending their union. Many couples are able to emerge from therapy with a stronger bond a renewed commitment to one another. In the event that a family law case is the ultimate result, both spouses can move forward in the knowledge that they gave the marriage their best effort, including counseling. 

Source: The Huffington Post, "Do Couples Therapists Ever Suggest Divorce?", Brittany Wong, April 4, 2018

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