Parenting Consulting is appointed by the court once the parents decide on the person they want the court to appoint. If the parents can’t decide on someone, the court can appoint a Parenting Consultant. This concept was developed by several Minnesota psychologists who’ve worked extensively in the family dispute field. A Parenting Consultant helps families navigate issues surrounding Parenting Time (or visitation), discipline and parenting style, schedules, school placement, and extra-curricular activities. Parenting Consultants don’t address custody or financial issues.
Why Would I Need a Parenting Consultant?
When you’re in the midst of a divorce, you’re largely focused on finished the process as quickly as possible. What can sometimes get overlooked is how a divorce affects children. A divorce is not only an emotional time for couples, but also for their children as well. When you were together, you may have each had different parenting styles, but because you were under the same roof you could come up with compromises when it came to raising your children. After a divorce, you’ll obviously no longer be living with your ex-partner, and it’ll be therefore even more important to understand how to parent your children apart from your former spouse.
A Parenting Consultant can be a part of this often difficult transition process where you and your ex-partner are adjusting to parenting after a divorce, and often more importantly, your children are adjusting to life after divorce. The last thing you want is for your children to be overwhelmed with the changes in their lives during this difficult time.
It’s important to realize that a Parenting Consultant is not meant to give you a lesson on how to raise your kids. They are merely available to help mediate parenting issues that may arise and help you and your partner to come to a decision that is in the best interest of your child. If you can’t make a decision with your parenting partner, the Parenting Consultant has the authority to make decisions that are in the best interest of your children. While it’s obvious that your child’s best interests should always be valued above anything else, when you’re in the throes of a divorce, these core values can become a bit cloudy.
Legal System Can Exacerbate the Effects of Divorce on Children
A traditional adversarial divorce that involves litigation can be incredibly draining for both couples as well as their children. At Johnson Mediation, one of our goals is to make a divorce as low-stress, and non-combative as possible. We feel strongly that being cordial with your partner throughout the divorce process will set a better example for your children and will help you to begin to learn how to co-parent after a divorce. Depending on how old your children are at the time of your divorce, chances are high that you’ll need to partner with your spouse for quite some time before your children move out. A Parenting Consultant can help support individuals as well as families during this tough time to ensure that issues are resolved promptly and that the needs of your children are always weighed heavily.
How Does Parenting Consulting Work?
Parenting Consulting utilizes what is known as a contract-based agreement allowing the parties in a divorce to be able to first mediate a dispute. If mediation does not generate a solution, the Parenting Consultant will decide the issue or issues, and both parties agree to accept the consultant’s decision. If one of the parents disagrees with a decision, he or she does still have the right to go to court to overturn the decision.
Your First Meeting With a Parenting Consultant
When a Parenting Consultant is appointed, the Parenting Consultant can meet with both parties together or separately. This meeting is generally administrative and helps to explain the Parenting Consulting process, schedule appointments, familiarize the consultant with any background information, describe all of the children involved, and identify any issues that need to be addressed. If either parent is uncomfortable with a joint meeting, he or she can schedule time separately to discuss their concerns.
Any subsequent meetings could be conducted with both parents, each parent alone, or with children, as well as any new significant others or spouses that may enter the picture at a later date.
Contact Johnson Mediation to Learn More About Parenting Consulting
If you think your family could benefit from a Parenting Consultant, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team to learn more today. We would be happy to sit down with you to learn your current situation and see if using our Parenting Consulting services may be a good fit for you and your family.