DRCLogo Wide v06 Web 01

Maryland’s authoritative guide to divorce.

The decision to divorce is not a straight path. Sometimes one spouse is unhappy but does not know how to fix the problem. There are times when spouses are fighting and one spouse uses the “D” word as a weapon, not really serious about wanting a divorce. However, when one spouse uses the word “divorce”, this often sends a couple careening toward divorce even when neither spouse is sure this is the right path.

Sometimes couples consider marriage counseling. However, the stated goal of marriage counseling is to repair the marriage, and very little time is spent actually looking at whether a couple SHOULD stay married. Discernment counseling is a counseling method which starts with the question of whether a couple SHOULD remain married, rather than presupposing the couple WILL remain married. Discernment counseling is very short term, generally three to four sessions, with the outcome being a final decision of whether or not the couple will divorce. If both spouses want to stay married, and the counselor believes that the spouses should be married (there are times when a marriage is too toxic to survive), the couple then proceeds to marriage counseling. If one or both of the spouses determine they do not want to remain married, the discernment counselor helps the spouses transition to a divorce process which works for their family. Unfortunately, if your spouse will not entertain the idea of counseling, even discernment counseling, it is likely that you will find yourself proceeding through a divorce, even if you do not wish to divorce.

Learn more about discernment counseling:

Discernment counselors who have worked with our clients: