Dear Vanessa: Do I Need to Undergo Couples Counseling Before Filing for Divorce in Florida?

Florida law does not require divorcing couples to undergo couples counseling prior to filing for divorce. The only criteria in a no-fault divorce state like Florida is that the marriage is deemed “irretrievably broken.” 

That does not mean, however, that marital counseling won’t be required once the divorce proceeding is underway. 

Instances When Counseling May Be Required

There are some situations when a judge may order one or both parties to consult a marriage counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, minister, priest, rabbi, or any other person deemed qualified by the court and acceptable to the party or parties ordered to seek consultation.

As further detailed in Florida Statute §61.052, counseling may be required when minor children are involved or when the responding party denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

In instances such as these, the judge may require couples counseling for a specified period of time (generally no longer than three months). During that time, the divorce case is put on hold. 

It is possible that throughout the course of counseling, the couple reconciles and the divorce case is dismissed. If it does not, the divorce then continues as planned. 

As you prepare for divorce, it’s important to know what to expect in terms of your rights, responsibilities and options. Our team at the Vasquez de Lara Law Group will help you understand the process and evaluate the best options for your specific situation. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation. 

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