Children need all the nurturance that both parents can give them. They need to be put first by their parents. Too many children see themselves as second to the “war” between their parents and unfortunately are caught in the middle of the conflict.
I dedicate my work with divorcing parents to help reduce the conflict and teach parents to put their own issues aside so they can truly focus on giving their children the best parenting and sense of family possible. The services listed below are provided with this in mind.
However, divorce often has a major impact on adults too. Whether you are old or young, have young children, or not, divorce is a profound change that requires resilience and coping skills that are different than what we use to get through the usual day-to-day stresses. At MyDivorceRecovery.com I regularly post information that is pertinent to recovering from divorce. You can also find out about workshops that Dr. Lauren Behrman and I facilitate for adults looking to get back on track after divorce.
Helping Parents Help Their Children
Co-Parenting is designed to teach parents communication and decision-making skills. It is not therapy but rather utilizes a coaching or training model that is also intended to focus on reducing parental conflict. Dr. Zimmerman communicates the results of these visits to parents and attorneys, but does not formerly evaluate either parent or appear in court to testify.
Collaborative Divorce Coach/Child Specialist services are provided to help spouses who are involved in a Collaborative Divorce process. As a Coach, Dr. Zimmerman helps prepare the parties to function most effectively throughout the process, managing the emotional content and quality of the negotiations. When there are minor children involved, Dr. Zimmerman also helps parents create a parenting plan schedule. As a Child Specialist, Dr. Zimmerman communicates the wishes and experiences of the child/children to the parents, coaches, attorneys and other professionals involved in the Collaborative Divorce process. Dr. Zimmerman does not testify or provide input into litigation when serving as a Coach or a Child Specialist.
Conflict Manager/Parenting Coordinator (PC): services are intended to help parents/guardians resolve a particular issue or set of issues for the family. Dr. Zimmerman may meet with parents together or separately and may also see the children. Dr. Zimmerman may also hold meetings with the attorneys and/or parents together to try to come to a resolution on a particular issue. Dr. Zimmerman’s opinions are often communicated to attorneys who may communicate to the court. At times, parents agree to follow Dr. Zimmerman’s recommendation regarding a specific parenting decision. When this occurs, the parents recognize that they (not Dr. Zimmerman) hold the responsibility for that decision and agree that Dr. Zimmerman is indemnified and held harmless for any negative outcomes from that (or those decisions). Dr. Zimmerman also participates in a new form of Parenting Coordination in which there are actually two parenting coordinators (one coaching each parent). This approach is often appropriate when there is extremely high conflict, or a single parenting coordinator has not been successful in the past. This dual PC approach allows for more rapport between the parenting coordinator and parent. Joint recommendations are made when needed to resolve a particular issues, when the coaching of each parent does not lead to resolution. Generally, Dr. Zimmerman has not found this new model to be more expensive, as each PC speaks to one parent, rather than one PC speaking to both parents. Parents agree that Dr. Zimmerman will not testify or be involved in their legal disputes, hearings, etc.
Mediation helps parents (and or other family members) make their decisions about the basic parenting plan schedule and other related changes as the family reconfigures during and after the divorce (or at times in non-divorce related situations). Parents are usually seen jointly and while the decisions made are communicated to parents and their attorneys, Dr. Zimmerman, does not appear in court to testify. At times Dr. Zimmerman also will be called on to facilitate settlement conferences. This can help parents and lawyers come to an agreement and avoid trial leaving the power and control of some very important parenting decisions that impact the children up to parents.