If you are unhappy in your marriage, you may think that the best option is divorce. Before you file the paperwork with a Hawaii court, however, you could consider pre-divorce counseling with your spouse. Unlike marriage counseling, the goal of pre-divorce counseling is not to help you and your spouse remain married. Rather, pre-divorce counseling may help you and your spouse have an amicable divorce that produces the best outcomes for you and your children.
According to marriage.com, pre-divorce counseling may help reduce the stress and conflict that occurs during a divorce. It may be especially helpful if you have children, because it may help you and your spouse maintain healthy boundaries during the proceedings, reducing the emotional toll on your family. A counselor may be able to help you and your spouse improve your communication to ensure the divorce negotiations go smoothly and the process is as quick and simple as possible. You may also be able to work with your spouse and the counselor to determine what post-divorce living situation is best for your children.
If you and your spouse are not entirely sure you want to get divorced, you may try discernment counseling first. Discernment counseling may help you and your spouse figure out whether you want to remain married. This type of therapy may help you identify underlying relationship issues and decide whether it is possible to improve them. If you decide to stay married, a discernment counselor may recommend marriage therapy or couples counseling. If you decide you want to end the marriage, you and your spouse may move on to pre-divorce counseling.
This information on pre-divorce counseling is general and intended to educate; it should not be taken as legal advice.