Divorce Counseling In America

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The US is a “leader” in divorce rates, but there is a way to change the statistics. Pre-divorce counseling can help improve marriages before divorce. Other countries and states have made this law, and the research behind it concludes that divorce counseling is needed as a law. Another reason pre-divorce counseling should be mandatory is because of the emotional impact divorce may have on children which can severely scar or hurt children for a lifetime. Also the extensive and expensive cost of divorce; the typical hourly divorce attorney fees, and how long it takes to get the divorce can vary your total cost. Every state should enact a divorce counseling law that requires married couples to go through counseling before being granted a divorce.

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Divorce counseling is needed, but not for those who can not handle the pain and stress that may be brought along with it. However, the outcome will be worth it. Most experts say that it is more effective to get pre-divorce counseling than premarital counseling; people who are in love are more likely to stay together than a couple who is having trouble. Divorce counseling can help improve marriages “for instance, the Chicago Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy, cites research that indicates around 50 percent of couples who participate in emotionally focused couples therapy have improved marriages after completing the program. Around 70 percent of participating couples report improvement within three months, and after two years, couples had retained the improvement to their marriages”(In-Depth Guides).

When involving children, another reason divorce or pre-divorce counseling is beneficial seeing that divorce happens children are usually separated from one parent, mostly the father, and children then have new schedules, new lives, new houses, sometimes even begin to have a new dad or mom. Divorce brings on a new set of challenges and problems, however, divorce counseling or pre-divorce counseling can help with these problems. It can help the existing couple fight through whatever problems they may have or have had and to help them let go and begin again. Or it can help ex couples begin to be friends and if children are involved it will help the children continue to have a relationship with whoever the outed parent may be. The couple will learn to adapt, help, and how to work together as friends rather than placing the blame on each other and hurting their child or children.

However, will pre-divorce counseling work if the couples only are mandated typical hours? Will that allow enough time to grow and make significant process? Who will pay for these counseling sessions? What if the couple is of low-income? If out of pocket therapy is mandated will make couples feel like their constitutional rights are being messed with? But the states can’t just let money go for free?

Many states and countries have found ways to encourage couples to go to premarital and pre-divorce counseling without necessary making it a mandatory requirement. In South Carolina couples can get a one-time $150 state income tax credit if they complete a premarital counseling course prior to getting married and have proof. In the state of Florida, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee and in certain counties in Maryland, couples can have the cost of their marriage license reduced once they provide proof of premarital counseling. In Texas a program called Twogether in Texas offers free counseling for couples. “Studies suggest that premarital counseling does in fact strengthen relationships. A 2003 review of thirteen studies on premarital counseling techniques found that in twelve of the studies, couples who participate in premarital counseling sessions measured “significantly better in relationship skills and relationship quality” than couples in control groups” (Custis).

However, in the following states, couples are required to go to couples therapy prior to divorce: Washington, Oregon, Missouri, Mississippi, Minnesota, Michigan, Maryland, Iowa, Illinois and Arizona.

“Even if pre-divorce counseling is not mandatory in most of the U.S. yet, the idea has taken root in Singapore where the government is proposing an amendment that would make several changes to the existing Women’s Act laws in that country. Under the new amendment any married couple desiring a divorce in Singapore that have kids under the age of 21 will be required to attend mandatory counseling and mediation sessions” (Mandatory Divorce Counseling).

However, some countries do not have this law and have good marriage statistics, but what if they aren’t healthy marriages? What if other countries or states have harder laws to get a divorce other than counseling? So instead of being able to get a divorce you are stuck in a relationship you really do not want to be in. What do you do then?

Divorce creates many impacts and emotional turmoil for everyone in the family, especially children. The situation for children can be scary, confusing, difficult, and frustrating. “Divorce may increase the risk for mental health problems in children and adolescents. Regardless of age, gender, and culture, children of divorced parents experience increased psychological problems. Divorce may trigger an adjustment disorder in children that resolves within a few months. But, studies have also found depression and anxiety rates are higher in children from divorced parents” (Morin).

Divorce can cause children to have behavior problems and can affect academic performance. Children with divorced parents can also be bullied more and can harm themselves because of it. A small percentage of children can experience ongoing and even possibly lifelong problems after their parents’ divorce. Such as …

Children usually bounce back but not always. Other couples stay together despite wanting a divorce for the sake of their children, and yet children with parents that do not get a divorce live in homes with a plethora of arguing, unhappiness, hostility and are at a higher risk for developing mental health issues and behavioral problems than children whose parents actually get a divorce. But does that mean they will continue the cycle? What if their parents get divorced or predivorce counseling? What if all they need is to talk about their feelings and learn how to love and communicate with each other again? Parents can also learn how to help their children adapt to the things that are happening,during the counseling, because their counselor will provide them with helpful tips. Such as coping skills, making their child feel safe, empowering their child and many more.

Another reason why divorce counseling should be a law is the cost of divorce. Poverty is real and most people cannot afford to get a divorce. If they take counseling they should be able to get a discount or understand why marriage might not be for them.

Some get through divorce quite easily and fast because of how wealthy they are, however, that rarely happens. The more money one has the more that the couple will fight for who gets all the money or more of the money. And when a child is involved whoever gets the kid may be another reason to allow them to have more money, than the child feels like an object and they get hurt. Then the cycle continues. All the pain and hurt that could have been avoided if they

29 April 2022

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