What is Reconciliation?

A couple heading toward divorce may have second thoughts. A study shows that up to 10% of couples in the process of divorce find reconciliation a viable option. These are couples who may feel that divorce is their only option when they cannot work out the issues between them. In Minnesota, a divorcing couple may participate in state funded reconciliation services. What does this mean? It means that you and your spouse can take advantage of a free opportunity to work through your issues.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed a spending bill, Minnesota Couples on the Brink Act (S.F. 2383), which provides government funded reconciliation services to couples that are divorcing. The program is paid for from a $5 fee that comes from each marriage license issued by the state. The program is offered through the University of Minnesota.

These couples may have second thoughts once divorce is becoming a reality and want to work toward saving their marriage. By taking part in this program, the couples benefit from mentoring and opportunities to meet with support groups. Couples are eligible to take part in this program with mediators and counselors.

The reconciliation coaching provides couples with voluntary short-term reconciliation coaching. With guidance from their coach, the couples address disputes and how to improve communication between the couple. The couple does the problem solving, working on the issues that led to the divorce proceedings. The coach is present to facilitate the process, and to advise the couple as to their options in how to approach these often thorny issues.

Some couples use this as an opportunity to not only work on the issues that led them to this point, but also to focus on the future. A couple may choose to create a written agreement which can address issues that have already been raised or those that may occur in the future. This written agreement can be a binding postnuptial agreement, which would be worked on in conjunction with an attorney, or it may be something as informal as a plan on how the reconciliation will progress. In all cases, the couple will be working together to address the issues that have affected their marriage.

Couples may obtain referrals to long-term services and support groups if they feel it is necessary. By focusing on reconciliation, a couple that was once on the path of divorce may find themselves reevaluating their position. For information on reconciliation services, contact my office today.

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