Child Custody Mediation, Child Custody Evaluation and Co-Parent Counseling Services
by Barbara Bowen, LCSW
Child custody mediation helps parents design custody and visitation parenting plans that suit their individual family. Some of the benefits of mediation are listed below:
- Offers parents the opportunity to meet with a trained professional in a safe, neutral environment to address their concerns.
- Helps parents resolve their personal disagreements in order to make plans that are best for their children.
- Promotes positive communication and offers parents an opportunity to learn methods to resolve future conflicts.
- Increases parental cooperation, which lessens emotional damage to the children.
- Offers parents the opportunity to retain control of the decision making process regarding the care of their children.
- Is less costly than litigation, leads to more timely results and reduces conflict between parents.
Co-parent counseling sessions give parents the opportunity to improve their
parenting relationship and address parenting concerns and problems in their
communication. When appropriate, significant others or other family members may
Parents may also choose to use these sessions to address issues of discipline, education, religious training, activities, medical care, involvement of extended family and other issues particular to their family's situation.
In complex cases where decisions are not easily reached, the Court may appoint a custody evaluator to assess the family and offer a recommendation about the custody and visitation arrangement that is in the best interest of the children. Evaluations offer parents the opportunity to have a professional help them identify and thoroughly assess the problems impacting them and their children.
Evaluations can include individual and joint meetings with parents and children, home visits, contact with teachers, coaches, pediatricians, therapists and others that have been involved with the family. They generally result in a written report to the Court, clarifying the strengths and troubles of the family and detailing a plan for the children.
Additional services offered:
Separation and divorce counseling
Blended family counseling
Individual, couple & family therapy
Lectures and workshops