Conciliation Counseling is offered by the Superior Court for married couples who are considering or who are in the process of divorce or legal separation. The focus of this brief counseling is to assist parties in making an informed and thoughtful decision regarding their marital relationship and whether or not to reconcile or to end a relationship.
This counseling is initiated by the filing of a Petition for Conciliation at the Clerk of the Court. There is no charge for this filing or for the counseling. It is not necessary to have a divorce or legal separation pending to file the Petition for Conciliation.
Once a Petition for Conciliation has been accepted by the Court neither party can file for a legal separation or dissolution for a period of 60 days. If such an action was filed previous to the acceptance of the Petition for Conciliation, the case may not be advanced until the 60 day stay has expired.
When the Court accepts the Petition for Conciliation, both parties are required to attend at least one counseling conference and more if all parties agree. These conferences are conducted by professional counselors, are held in private, and are confidential.
During the counseling process no coercion is used to try to force reconciliation. The final decision regarding the marriage is made by the spouses themselves.