The reader wanted to know whether Florida requires couples to attend marriage counseling prior to getting a divorce. The answer for the most part is no. However, nothing in law can be explained away with a simple yes or no answer.
Florida Statute 61.052 (2)(B)(1)(2) & (3) read as follows:
When there is a minor child of the marriage, or when the responding party denies by answer to the petition for dissolution that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court may:
1. Order either or both parties to consult with 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; or 2. Continue the proceedings for a reasonable length of time not to exceed 3 months, to enable the parties themselves to effect a reconciliation; or 3. Take such other action as may be in the best interest of the parties and the minor child of the marriage.
Therefore, Judges will only require marriage counseling, for a period no longer than 3 months, if they believe it is in the best interests of the parties and/or their minor child.
If you find yourself at the beginning of a divorce proceeding and either want counseling ordered or want to avoid it contact a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer today.