Seattle, WA asked in Divorce and Family Law for Alaska

Q: My husband works away from the home for weeks at a time and has left us how can I get him counseling so we dont divorce?

My husband just decided that I’m evil and he doesn’t love me but I know he does he runs away from his family he won’t talk to any of us his wife or kid he left me with the house which I can’t afford I was a stay at home mom for 15 years and he forced me into a job I have no education and I just keep telling him I love him so come home but he won’t talk keeps running he works away from home for weeks at a time for the last 15 years I don’t want to divorce apparently he doesn’t because no papers have been served I believe he needs a psych eval. How do I get that done before we completely break up and divorce I don’t know what to do.I am trying really hard to be nice and positive through all of this I really think he’s just lost his mind he’s a good guy who turned pretty sour and apparently for the last couple of years he’s been lying to me and planning on leaving that’s what he said but I don’t believe it I think he’s just snapped. He has his family blocking me and my son completely

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1 Lawyer Answer
Stefan Otterson
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  • Anchorage, AK
  • Licensed in Alaska

A: There really isn't any legal process you can use to prevent a divorce from happening or to force a spouse into counseling. If he does file a divorce complaint and custody is at issue, the court will sometimes order a party (more often both parties) to be evaluated, but that's only if there's evidence that your child's welfare is jeopardized by possible psychological disorders which have caused harmful behavior.

The response you describe is appropriate, and it's probably the only way to address this situation. Stay positive and focused on building and maintaining healthy relationships with family and friends who may have influence or who may provide support if you have to go through some difficult times, whether or not a divorce happens. Remember that a divorce doesn't change the fact that you're both parents, and you'll have to cooperate on that for years to come. You may want to find an individual therapist for yourself, because anyone can benefit from professional help in this situation. Remember, right now this is a relationship problem, not a legal problem.

You should also look at the Alaska Court System's Family Law Self Help Center online. They also have classes that cover the basics. Being prepared for the worst case scenario will reduce some of the normal fear people feel in your situation. That will make it easier to focus on yourself, your relationship, your friends and family, and the other real-life things in the present that really matter.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

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