Conciliation Counseling is offered by the Superior Court under the authority of Arizona law (ARS§ 25-381) for married parties who are considering or who are in the process of divorce. The focus of this brief counseling is to assist parties in making an informed and thoughtful decision regarding their marital relationship. Upon completion of the counseling, the parties may be referred to community-based counseling services for further assistance if they indicate such an interest.
This counseling is initiated by the filing of a Petition for Conciliation in any of the Conciliation Services regional offices. It is not necessary to have a divorce pending to file the Petition for Conciliation. Once a Petition for Conciliation has been accepted neither party may file for 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 "cooling off" period has expired.
When jurisdiction of the Court has been invoked by the acceptance of a Petition for Conciliation, both parties are required to attend the scheduled conferences. 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 a reconciliation. The final decision regarding the marriage is made by the spouses themselves.