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What Is Discernment Counseling and When It Works for California Couples?

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Filing for divorce in California is a significant life decision. From where you live to childcare – every aspect of your life changes after divorce. For most couples, divorce is also an emotional and mental undertaking. In short, divorce can be difficult, which is why every couple that files for divorce wants to know it is the right decision.

Uncertainty about divorce in California is incredibly common, but there are outlets to gain a better understanding of divorce and when it is an appropriate decision for your relationship and future. One of the ways a couple can learn more about divorce in California is through discernment counseling.

What Is Discernment Counseling?

When you begin to question the longevity of your relationship, there is a lot of emotional turmoil. You may worry about the impact divorce will have on your children, friends, or financial future. Also, you may wonder if your relationship problems are temporary and will subside over time. Alternatively, you could be thinking that the basis for the issues is inherent to your relationship. The responses to these questions inform whether you want to continue your relationship, but where can you find the answers?

Discernment counseling helps couples considering divorce in California. It is a type of limited and focused couples counseling that directly addresses the question of divorce or breaking up. A therapist will first learn about the couple and then ask questions that are crafted to determine the status, health, and longevity of a relationship.

What Is the Goal of Discernment Counseling?

The purpose of discernment counseling is straightforward and specific. Through a series of questions, typically modified to work for a certain couple, the therapist helps a couple discuss the options for their relationship and the best path. Discernment counseling is not focused on making a recommendation, but rather on helping the couple come to their own conclusion. Some of the options include ending the relationship immediately or imposing a three or six-month waiting period or term of separation, where both partners agree to work on certain aspects of the relationship.

In addition to reaching this conclusion, discernment counseling can help identify the issues in a relationship. When you are in the midst of a marriage and daily life with a spouse, it’s hard to clarify or understand some of the complications. You could be arguing over minor problems to disguise or ignore a systemic issue. Discernment counseling can be effective in uncovering these bigger issues or disagreements. Ultimately, this may lead to divorce in California or identifying other solutions.

When Should Couples Consider Discernment Counseling?

Discernment counseling can be right for a wide range of couples and personalities. Even individuals that don’t gravitate towards other forms of therapy or counseling can find discernment counseling helpful because it is collaborative and focused. Based on experience as a California divorce lawyer, discernment counseling is particularly helpful for couples that have tried a period of separation and rekindled their relationship or spouses that have considered filing for divorce in California for a year or more.

Another situation where discernment counseling is helpful is when one spouse wants a divorce and the other is hesitant or wants to preserve the relationship. Where there is disagreement over filing for divorce in California, there are often other topics that aren’t seen eye-to-eye. These misunderstandings can augment minor problems in a relationship or create new ones. Working through the very understanding of the issues can solve them.

Why Is Discernment Counseling Helpful Before a Divorce?

Divorce in California is final. At the end of divorce proceedings, a California family court issues a divorce decree. This is a legal determination that has the same weight and authority as a court’s decision in a civil or criminal case. If you are going to file for divorce in California, you want to be certain it is the right decision – discernment counseling can provide this clarity.

Another expert that can assist with the decisions of a California divorce is an Orange County divorce lawyer. The Bledsoe Firm is an experienced and highly respected law firm that is focused on divorce and family law. Whether you are ready to file for divorce or need more information on the process, you can schedule a free consultation with our office. Simply call the Bledsoe Firm at (949) 363-5551.

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