Unfortunately, divorce touches many families. When families are dealing with separation and divorce, both the parents and the children may experience sadness, anger, confusion and distress. Parents may seek guidance to help them support their children through the inevitable transitions and changes in the family. Parents may also need help in establishing effective and collaborative coparenting relationships. In addition, parents may benefit from assistance in managing their conflicts and resolving their impasses. We provide both forensic and supportive services for families struggling with divorce-related transitions.
We are trained in divorce mediation. When parents are unable to develop a plan for sharing their children’s time and sharing decision-making, mediation may the next step. Mediation is a process in which parents can choose to participate. In the mediation forum, the mediator facilitates parents working out their differences, conflicts and concerns and constructing a Shared Parenting Plan (SPP). Parents can submit written plans to the court that have been jointly agreed upon and signed. if mediation is unsuccessful, the court may require families to undergo a custody evaluation.
We conduct child custody evaluations, following the guidelines of the American Psychological Association and the Association of Family Conciliation Courts. As child clinicians, we strive to make the experience as comfortable as possible for the child. Custody evaluations require a court order and a retainer before the process begins. The evaluation typically includes an initial joint interview with both parents, individual interviews, parent-child observations, child interviews, psychological testing of the parties, collateral witness interviews and review of documents and other materials. We offer a detailed report with recommendations for parental rights and responsibilities, as well as other suggestions to address the findings. If all parties, including the attorneys, agree to a brief summary and consultation with the attorneys, in lieu of the report, the cost is significantly less. Please review our Forensic Policy in the form section of our website for more details.
We also are trained in parenting coordination. Parenting coordination helps parents to implement their court-ordered shared parenting plan, as well as resolve ongoing issues not addressed by the SPP. Parenting coordination is usually court-ordered, and the parties are obligated to attend for a specified length of time.
Throughout the cycle of divorce from contemplating divorce to undergoing custody evaluations, families may benefit from supportive therapy for the parents, as well as the children. Families benefit if the decisions on how to separate the households and resolve parenting issues occur in a collaborative setting, with professional support. Children also may benefit from therapy to help them manage the changing household and their their reactions. We also help with integrating new step-parents and step-siblings into the family.
Please contact us if you have any further questions about our divorce-related services.