The Benefits of Premarital Counseling before Saying "I Do"
Come this November, voters in Colorado could be voting on a ballot initiative that would require mandatory pre-marriage education classes for couples wanting to get married. Those getting married for the first time would be required to complete 10 hours of marriage education classes. For people who are planning their second marriage, 20 hours of marriage education is required. And for those making their third trip to the altar, 30 hours of class time would be required.
The pull to initiate premarital counseling was started by Kids Against Divorce, with Colorado being the first targeted. However, the group has plans to present similar bills throughout several states. And although there are currently no states that require pre-marriage education, some couples do choose to attend premarital counseling sessions before they wed.
Therapists tout the benefits of premarital counseling as a way for couples to learn how to build better and stronger relationships before marrying, and to help avoid the issues that frequently bring about divorce. But there can be pros and cons to going through the process. The Huffington Post recently interviewed therapists, as well as family law professionals, to help identify the pluses and minuses of premarital counseling.
One benefit to the counseling is the opportunity for couples to discover if there are problems between the two of them in which they were not aware. Disagreements or problems regarding finances, jealousy, children, or other important issues that can cause problems in a marriage may come up during these sessions and can be discussed.
Premarital counseling can also help strengthen communication between the couple. Learning how to express thoughts and feelings calmly, instead of letting them fester and build up, can go a long way in helping a marriage succeed.
One of the downfalls to premarital counseling is that it may bring up potential issues that the couple has never discussed before and reaching a stalemate in how to resolve the issue. Sometimes the discussion can be serious enough to cause the couple to rethink or even cancel the marriage. Yet while some people might perceive this as a negative aspect to the counseling, others may view it as a positive, and conclude that it is better to discover their incompatibility prior to actually marrying and thus avoiding all the legal ramifications that divorce brings.
Sometimes no amount of counseling, either before or during a marriage, is enough to keep a couple together and the decision to divorce is made. If you are considering divorcing, contact an experienced Geneva family lawyer to help navigate through what can be a very complicated and emotional process.