The Collaborative Law Child Specialist
Divorce is stressful for the entire family – particularly the children. In Collaborative Law a child specialist can be brought in to help ease the emotional transition for the entire family. The child specialist is neutral and does not represent either parent. Rather, the child specialist tries to help the parents determine what is in their children’s best interest throughout the divorce process. The child specialist is a mental health professional who has concentrated their career on divorce and child-related issues.
Here are a few of the things a child specialist might do:
- Meet with both parents, either together or individually, to learn their perspectives on the parenting plan.
- Meet with the children to try to figure out what their needs and concerns are.
- Be available for the children if they feel like they need someone to talk to about the divorce.
- Work with the parents to try to develop a parenting plan in the children’s best interests.
- If requested, make a recommendation to the team about what the child specialist thinks is best for the children.
The Collaborative child specialist adds value to the process both in terms of increased efficiency and specialized knowledge. Even with all of the above benefits, not all cases need a child specialist. In many cases – particularly with lengthy separations – parents have already figured out a parenting plan that makes sense for their family and may only need a little help from the attorneys to finalize the plan.
Although the Collaborative Child Specialist is often discussed in the context of Collaborative Law, this professional can also be used in mediation.