“My childhood ended when my parents got divorced.” This is an all-too-common statement of children of divorce. A new method for divorce is on the rise—collaborative divorce, which avoids trial and uses a team of professionals to address all of the needs of the family.
One of the top priorities of divorce should be the children. In collaborative divorce, a child specialist can be brought in to speak for the children.
Role of the child specialist
The child specialist is a licensed mental health professional with specialized training in family systems, and in handling collaborative divorces. In the collaborative team, the child specialist is neutral between the parties. The child specialist has a responsibility to the children, to give them a voice. This person meets with the children and develops a relationship with them. The ages and developmental stages are studied and used as a basis for professional inputs and education as the new family structure begins to take shape.
Sometimes parents have difficulty talking about the divorce to the children. The child specialist can step into that gap and answer children’s questions and concerns about how their lives will be impacted by the change of their parent’s relationship. They open an honest exchange of communication.
While the child specialist does not decide custody issues, he/she can provide professional inputs and education information to help create a workable co-parenting plan that will be appropriate for the children at their stage of development.
Divorce need not be the end of childhood. Two caring parents working with a competent collaborative divorce team can transform the family structure in a positive fashion.
Zonder Family Law serves Southern California. Call 1 (805) 231-5705 or toll free 866-632-6459 to set up your initial Strategy Session.