In Utah, you could do a Petition for Conciliation, but this would need to be filed before the divorce papers are filed. I would check with a local attorney to see if they have a similar statute on the State's books. The statute in Utah is 30-3-16.2. I hope this helps.
Brian Arnold Esq.
This is a state by state issue. Some states want to make it easy and quicker to get divorced; others want to make it harder and slower. As a divorce lawyer, I see many couples that should stay together and I see others that should have never married in the first place.
It is very sad to see a long term marriage end in divorce. In my experience, with long term marriages like yours, I suspect your husband is having some mental health issues. Hopefully, you can ask the court for a mental health examination, to ensure he is competent to understand what he is doing.
This reply is provided for information purposes only and does not represent legal advice or an attorney-client relationship.
It's sad to see a marriage of so long end, but It's not the role of the court to help you save the marriage. Under Massachusetts law, the role of the court is to oversee the orderly dissolution of the marriage when it has failed and make determinations about property division, alimony and child custody and support. The lawyers' role is ultimately to negotiate what those terms may be -- which is what happens at the four-way.
A marriage fails when someone doesn't want to be married anymore. Just because your husband is talking to you doesn't mean his feelings have changed. Freedom to associate with a person of your choice also means that you are also free to NOT associate with someone else. A judge can encourage couples to go to counseling, but cannot force two adults into participating. Judges will only order counseling where there are parenting problems because that is in the best interest of the child.
If you have not done so, have your lawyer approach his lawyer about putting a hold on proceedings and trying couple's counseling. The lawyer should pass the message along. There's also nothing stopping you from talking with your husband (assuming that there's no restraining order); however, I would not do so without giving your lawyer the head's-up. If your husband doesn't want to participate in counseling, perhaps you need to go by yourself and work out your feelings about what sounds like the inevitable end of this part of your life.
E. Alexandra "Sasha" Golden is a Massachusetts lawyer. All answers are based on Massachusetts law. All answers are for educational purposes and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question.
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