Role of the Family Specialist
A Family Specialist is trained to handle the needs of children, especially those whose parents are going through a divorce. They help you and your spouse develop a parenting plan that best suits your children. They help develop an agreement on the time your children will spend with each of you on a regular basis and over holidays. However, they also do much more.
Family Specialists bring the voice of the children to the negotiations about parenting. Often, they will meet with your children to determine their particular needs and wishes. They educate you and your spouse on the most recent research regarding the developmental needs of the children. Especially those whose parents are separating and divorcing.
The cost of a Family Specialist is substantially less than the cost for each of you to pay for a lawyer. Further, you and your spouse can share the cost resulting in a cost-effective way to resolve parenting issues.
Like a mediator, the Family Specialist will help you and your spouse discover your core concerns around parenting. Then, you can develop a parenting plan that meets those core concerns. A parenting plan may include references on how you will deal with sensitive issues in the future to minimize future conflicts. For example, how and when you will introduce new partners to the children. As a neutral and objective expert, they will ensure that the parenting plan is in the best interests of your children.
When the Family Specialist has completed the parenting plan, it will go to the lawyers. Your lawyer will review it with you and offer advice. If acceptable to both parties, it will go into the separation agreement and become a legally binding agreement.
Should issues arise in the future regarding parenting, you can always return to your Family Specialist for advice, assistance, and the negotiation of changes.