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Family law  |  Marriage  |  Unmarried Couples

The Benefits of a Marriage Preparation Course

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Whilst divorce lawyers are not marriage counsellors, they are perhaps uniquely qualified to comment upon the causes of marriage breakdown (and the benefits of a marriage preparation course), witnessing thousands of breakdowns over the course of a career.

And if that experience tells us one thing it is that there are many ways in which a marriage can go wrong, often starting with small things, and escalating into something that causes irreparable damage to the marriage.

And the other thing that divorce lawyers can attest to is the pain that can be caused by marriage breakdown, both emotionally and financially.

Anything that can prevent that pain must surely therefore be a good thing. So what are the benefits of a marriage preparation course?

Preparing for marriage

Newly married couples often face challenges due to the unknown, particularly if they haven’t lived together before marriage.

And this is where the benefits of a marriage preparation course come in. A marriage preparation course is designed for couples to attend, aiding them in making optimal preparations for marriage. The courses are often run by the church, but courses are available for couples without a church background.

The course will normally take place over several sessions, and should be run by a trained team.

It is trite to say, but marriage is a huge commitment. It is essential therefore that couples contemplating marriage understand the commitment they are about to enter.

A marriage preparation course can assist the couple in fully understanding and emphasizing the importance of commitment in marriage. Obviously, a marriage entered into without full commitment is a marriage set up to fail.

Otherwise, the contents of a marriage preparation course are likely to cover two particular areas, the first designed to avoid conflict, and the second to know how to deal with conflict when it arises.

Know your spouse

Anyone entering into marriage must obviously know the person they are about to marry. But it can be surprising sometimes how little they do know.

A marriage preparation course can help with this.

The course aids couples in recognizing and understanding differences, preventing potential conflicts that may arise from unappreciated distinctions.

And another common area of conflict, as any divorce lawyer can attest, is family. All families are different and the family background of your spouse should be fully understood, to avoid potentially damaging conflict with other family members

Again, a marriage preparation course can help with this.

Resolving spousal conflict

With the best will in the world, it is almost inevitable that conflict will occur in any marriage. The important thing is to know how to deal with it when it does.

A good marriage preparation course will teach the couple strategies for dealing with conflict.

These may include ensuring proper communication between the couple – issues that are left unaired are only likely to get worse, and couples that don’t properly communicate are not going to be able to resolve conflict.

Obviously, conflicts should be resolved early, before they become more serious. Arming a couple with strategies for resolving conflict can make early resolution more likely.

Avoiding marriage breakdown

Obviously, marriage preparation is aimed primarily at ensuring a happy marriage. But ultimately it can help to ensure that the marriage is enduring.

As we indicated above, divorce can take an enormous toll, both emotionally and financially, leaving scars that can last a lifetime.

And an awful lot of people are suffering that toll. About four in ten marriages end in divorce, and in 2021, the latest year for which figures are available, there were 113,505 divorces granted in England and Wales.

Marriage preparation courses may not be for everyone, but attending one could just help prevent your marriage becoming one of those statistics.

How can we help?

For further information on how we can help, please see our Expertise pages.

Walker Family Law is an award-winning family law practice, recognised as one of the leading family law firms in the South West of England with services covering family law & mediationdivorce lawchild-law and arbitration.

Please contact us if you require any further information.