If you are thinking of ending your marriage in Massachusetts, there are several things to consider: child custody, financial repercussions and emotional consequences. Sometimes it may be hard to decide if you want to file for divorce or if you want to work with your spouse to try to improve your marriage. Discernment counseling may help you and your spouse determine whether it is the right time to file for divorce.

According to a HuffPost article, discernment counseling may help you and your spouse decide whether your marriage should end. It is not the same thing as marriage counseling; rather, discernment counseling may help you understand whether marriage counseling would be effective. If either you or your spouse has already decided to pursue a divorce, marriage counseling may be an emotionally painful and ultimately unnecessary step. Discernment counseling may give you and your spouse the opportunity to discover whether either of you wants to try to preserve the marriage.

In most cases, discernment counseling is a process that occurs within a short time. Many counselors try to work with couples for five or fewer sessions. The counseling process may help you and your spouse understand the factors that contributed to marital unhappiness and determine whether remaining married is possible. You may decide to pursue marriage counseling if you and your spouse both want to try to remain married, and you may have a better understanding of existing issues after discussing them in discernment counseling. If you decide to pursue a divorce after completing discernment counseling, the process may be fairly smooth and quick because you and your spouse both know that you want the marriage to end.

This information on counseling and divorce is intended to be educational; it should not be taken as legal advice.