The Role of the Child Specialist in the Collaborative Process

Unlike lawyers, child specialists may offer expertise in child development and psychological effects of divorce on the family.  They have the ability to assist the clients in establishing boundaries of their co-parenting relationship moving ahead and recognize that a positive future vision requires moving past all the anger, fear, and hurt feelings which result from the process of divorce.child specialist lacfla

A child specialist is often included in a Collaborative Divorce team within a “Child Specialist” capacity, bringing the needs and voice of a child into the picture.  The Child Specialist doesn’t offer therapy for kids, yet independently meets with them to permit them a chance to speak of the family’s changes, as well as their feelings with a neutral adult.  The Child Specialist then will give the clients insight on their child(ren)’s experiences, which assists the parents in understanding what they are feeling and thinking, and may improve their capability of talking with the kids about challenging issues, eventually paving the way for less conflict.  Studies show that emotionally-healthy psychological outcomes for kids are directly associated with less conflict between the parents—whether in a divorced family or an intact family.

Child Specialists can also guide and educate kids to speak up and share their feelings with their parents, while additionally preparing parents about how to understand and identify what their kids might be suffering as an outcome of the divorce.  Especially older children will often discover difficulty in communicating with parents about their divorce and end up repressing their feelings, or they’ll lash out at one or even both parents; in such cases, Child Specialists may assist them in coping with their feelings and also can act as an intermediary with parents.

Even though adult children don’t work with a Child Specialist within the Collaborative Process, they still may have an extremely hard time reconciling what’s occurring with their family, especially if there are underage siblings.  If adult kids don’t have an opportunity to express their concerns and feelings and be part of the process, there often are pathological behaviors which may develop within their own relationships.  Therefore, no matter what the age of the kids of the divorcing clientele, it’s important that the kids have a chance to offer input, and a Mental Health Professional may offer parents support and guidance in navigating those challenging discussions.

The process of divorce is among the most challenging experiences one may go through in life.  Among the most compelling benefits of the Collaborative Divorce process is the emphasis on changing the perception that the divorce has to constitute an end to a family and, rather, promoting the realization that it may be seen as setting up a new family relationship which may be healthier for everyone.

For more information on the role of the collaboratively trained child specialist please feel free to get in touch with Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association  at (818) 933-4505 right away!

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