A married person may consider divorce as an option for leaving a stressful or unhappy relationship and getting a fresh start. Agreeing to dissolve a marriage can be a difficult choice, since a person may be unwilling to give up the unity and love that brought the couple together. The divorce process will require spouses to identify and resolve the legal issues that must be addressed when ending their marriage, including the allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly known as child custody), child support, and the division of marital property. However, the complexity that might be involved in resolving these matters could be a negative for some couples, and ending the marriage could also lead to unwanted attention or embarrassment for either spouse. For spouses who are considering divorce but are unsure about whether to proceed with the end of their marriage, consulting with a skilled family law attorney could identify some alternative options.

Can Marriage Counseling Be Beneficial?

Working together with a marriage counselor is an option that a couple may be willing to try once issues arise that threaten the relationship. However, the success of these types of sessions will depend on the amount of time and effort each spouse is willing to put in. While counseling may help some couples save their marriage, research has shown that approximately 38% of married couples get divorced within four years of attending marital counseling.

While the results of marriage counseling can vary drastically depending on a couple’s situation, it is still one of the most common routes taken by couples in crisis. Factors such as abuse, financial issues, and the loss of attraction could all result in counseling not being successful in repairing a relationship. In some cases, therapy may help one or both spouses realize that the marriage is beyond repair or that divorce is the best option.

Is Legal Separation an Option?

Spouses who are not ready for the finality of legally dissolving their marriage may consider living apart on a temporary or permanent basis, and in some cases, a legal separation may be used to address how matters will be handled while they are separated. Either spouse may file a petition for legal separation with the court, and they may ask for temporary relief to address issues such as allocation of parental responsibilities and spousal maintenance.

Legal separation allows spouses to separate their property and debts from each other, providing them with financial protection. However, by remaining legally married, they may be able to continue receiving certain benefits, such as health insurance, Social Security payments, tax deductions, and military aid. If either spouse chooses to proceed with divorce, the decisions made regarding legal separation may be incorporated into the divorce decree, allowing the process of dissolving the marriage to be completed more quickly and efficiently.

Contact an Oak Park Divorce Attorney

Marriage counseling and legal separation can provide alternatives to couples who are considering divorce, but the ultimate decision on how to proceed will be up to the individual spouses. At the Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C., our knowledgeable Hillside legal separation lawyer can help you understand your legal options, and we will work with you to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. For a free initial consultation, contact our office today at 708-449-7400.


Does Marriage Counseling Work? 10 Surprising Statistics & Facts