Services for Families of Divorce
Providing guidance through turbulent times
Counseling is utilized to resolve issues associated with divorce such as grief, depression and anger. Counseling can also be helpful when deciding whether or not to begin divorce proceedings. Family counseling can be helpful to resolve issues of adjustment and blended family issues.
Divorce coaching guides couples or individuals through the divorce process. Goal setting and identifying specific steps to achieve those goals allow individuals to begin moving forward in their lives. Unlike counseling, coaching is more directive and deals with specific goals and steps to work on prior to the next session. Historical family issues or personality issues are not typically dealt with in coaching sessions.
Mediation is used to resolve specific issues by working together to find solutions acceptable to both parties. Mediation is usually utilized before each court hearing but can also be helpful in early negotiations. Mediation can be helpful resolving family issues, particularly disagreements with teenagers. Unlike counseling/therapy, mediation does not get into historical problems but typically deals with one or two current issues to find new solutions and compromises.
Co-parent education is designed to provide information and guidance for families in conflict. Co-parenting sessions can be requested voluntarily by parents or can be a result of a court order. Four hours of individual sessions have been designed to educate parents on stressors associated with divorce and ways to help their children adjust to changes and feelings associated with divorce.
Session one: Discussion of the legalities of divorce and reviews ways to act in your child’s best interest. Re-establishing trust as parents and understanding the co-parent model.
Session two: Learn ways to cope with co-parent challenges: children’s rights vs. parents rights. Discuss ways of handling emotional struggles of co-parenting including stress, anger and grief.
Session three: Discuss developmental stages of children and the needs of each stage. Also discuss future developmental challenges to expect as children age.
Session four: Learn ways to improve communication between parents and develop improved ways of resolving conflict. Learning to co-parent as a team.
The use of the Parenting Coordinator/Facilitator is a new strategy designed to help separated, divorced or unmarried parents learn skills to work together and resolve issues in a manner that is acting in the best interest of their children. Although parents can engage a Parenting Coordinator/Facilitator on their own, the Parenting Coordinator/Facilitator can be ordered by the Court as an impartial third party to assist parties in resolving issues related to parenting and families that are in the best interest of the children. The Parenting Coordinator works to resolve disputed issues related to parenting or other family issues by:
- identifying disputed issues
- reducing misunderstandings
- clarifying priorities
- exploring possibilities for problems solving
- developing methods of collaboration in parenting
- understanding parenting plans and reaching agreements about parenting issues to be included in a parenting plan
- helping parents comply with the court’s order regarding conservatorship or possession of and access to the child.
What is a parenting plan? The Parenting Coordinator frequently assists parents in developing a parenting plan. The parenting plan is “temporary or final court order that sets out the rights and duties of each parent involved in a (child custody or divorce action) and includes provisions relating to the conservatorship, possession of and access to a child, child support and a dispute resolution process to minimize future disputes” Texas Family Code §153.601 (4)
Collaborative Law Allied Professional
Collaborative Law is a dispute resolution process where both parties and their attorneys contractually agree to resolve their dispute without going to court. Both parties agree to disclose and exchange all information required to reach an amicable settlement. The Collaborative Law team includes both parties and their attorneys - other member of the team may include mediators, financial advisors and allied mental health professionals. The Allied Mental Health Professionals facilitate effective co-parenting and develop an agreeable co-parenting plan that is in the best interest of the children. They also help identify disputed issues, reduce misunderstandings, clarify priorities and improve problems solving and communication skills facilitate effective co-parenting.