Can a Court Order Marriage Counseling Prior to Granting A Divorce?

Yes.  Texas Family Code Section 6.505 addresses this subject and provides the authority.

While a suit for divorce is pending, the Court may order the parties into marriage counseling with a person named by the Court. The counselor must submit a written report to the Court prior to a final hearing.  The only opinion the counselor may give in the report is whether a reasonable chance for reconciliation exits and, if so, whether additional counseling may prove beneficial.  A copy of the counselor’s report must be given to each party/attorney of record. 

If the counselor’s opinion is that a reasonable chance of reconciliation exists and further counseling may be beneficial, the court can continue the proceeding and order further counseling.  If no reasonable chance of reconciliation exists, the suit for divorce may continue in the customary manner.

Author Jim Cramp is a retired active duty colonel and the founder and principal attorney at the Cramp Law Firm, PLLC.  The firm provides a spectrum of family law-related services to clients in the greater San Antonio region, across the United States and throughout the world.  The firm specializes in Federal Civil Service and Military Divorce matters.