by Bart Carey, Family Law Attorney
“Divorce is a different experience for children and adults because the children lose something that is fundamental to their development – the family structure. The family comprises the scaffolding upon which children mount successive developmental stages, from infancy into adolescence.” — “Second Chances: Men Women and Children a Decade After Divorce”
How many times have you taken your child through a divorce? Helped your child navigate an emotional and transitory life experience that is difficult and opaque for you? Successfully rebuilt the family structure in ways that support your child? And all at a time when you and your spouse are not on the same page.
When it comes to helping your child through a divorce, consider turning to a child specialist to get the best advice and counsel based on the advantages of their specialized education, training and experience.
Here are nine reasons why you should have a child specialist assist you through your divorce process:
- It’s not therapy. No one is going to mess with your child. The child specialist’s role is to listen to you and your child and provide you with assistance with developing the best co-parenting plan to meet your child’s needs during and after the divorce transition process.
- You don’t know what you don’t know. The child specialist can help you uncover and identify your children’s unspoken needs and concerns, so they can be acknowledged and addressed. A child specialist can help your child navigate the uncertainties of the family transition and illuminate deeper insights for you regarding all of your child’s needs and concerns.
- Parents often disagree. Your child specialist works to increase parental consensus building by centering and keeping discussions focused on options that address the child’s needs and concerns.
- The devil’s in the details. There are many intricacies to tailoring co-parenting plans to best serve your child an experienced child specialist understands. Your child specialist can educate and expand your knowledge of the ins and outs and the options available.
- Children should be heard and not seen. A child is always ‘present’ in the room during negotiations. The child specialist gives your child an independent voice in the room and provides you as parents the insights you might otherwise miss.
- You know what you know – until you know better. Your co-parenting plans will go much deeper and be more durable than simply laying out a ‘schedule,’ and you and your co-parent will share a deeper understanding of how the plan serves your child’s best interests.
- Your child specialist is the child specialist so your Collaborative attorneys don’t have to be. The Collaborative child specialist is neutral in their relationship to a child’s parents and is only interested in your child’s long term well-being. Need we say more?
- Parents become the experts. You learn and develop new and diverse co-parenting skills tailored to your new family structure and circumstances from an expert.
- Tomorrow is just a day away. Your child specialist will be available post-divorce for consultation, on as needed basis, as kids grow up and the family changes with new relationships, new spouses, step children and blended families.
- It’s all upside. There is no risk. All consultation is confidential, for your use only. You ultimately control decisions and neither the child specialist nor their work may be used in court now or in the future.
It’s not just about a schedule. Decisions about your child’s future have significant and lasting consequences. It’s time to consider your Collaborative child specialist as indispensable to your family’s divorce as your Collaborative attorney.