When couples go through a traditional court divorce, children can easily be put aside due to the stress the parents go through. Children’s voices are not heard by the judge who makes the decisions about a parenting plan unless an attorney is appointed to represent the children or a child psychologist is appointed to conduct an examination that could potentially take months and cost tens of thousands of dollars. In addition, the courts don’t take into account your values, interests and goals as parents.
But when you utilize the collaborative divorce process, children are a vital part of the process. Their wants and needs play a large part in the divorce agreement. Your values, interests and goals as parents are also relevant in the collaborative process.
During a collaborative divorce, spouses agree to stay out of court, work amicably together to draft a mutually agreeable settlement, and develop a cohesive co-parenting plan that keeps the children’s emotional well-being at the forefront.
Here are a few things that we like to keep in mind with divorcing families who have children:
- While kids are resilient, they experience emotions, and those emotions should be acknowledged and worked through in a healthy manner
- Get professional help before your child reaches their emotional tipping point
- Don’t use your child as a pawn – asking a child to choose sides is so unfair and unhealthy for the children
- Talk with your children about your divorce together in an age-appropriate manner after deciding together what you will tell them
Divorce can be perceived as a life trauma in a child’s world and can affect the child into adulthood. This is why a mental health professional is a valuable part of the collaborative divorce team of professionals.
A mental health professional who specializes in working with children will help guide your child through the emotional part of a divorce. They will work with your child to process their emotions and help them process these feelings in a way that is healthy for them.
The collaborative divorce process looks at the whole picture of the impact a divorce will have for all involved, including the children, at each step – beginning, middle, end and future.
Family Divorce Solutions is a group of well respected, experienced and trained attorneys, mental health professionals, financial professionals and child specialists who work as a team to reach a complete and satisfactory resolution for everyone involved.
Contact us today to help you learn how a collaborative divorce can involve a child specialist which can help you and your child(ren) work through the emotions that divorce often brings.
Note: This information is general in nature and should not be construed as legal/financial/tax/or medical advice. You should work with your attorney, financial, medical or tax professional to determine what will work best for your situation.