Divorce Shouldn't Be A Tug of War
Why Is a Positive Coparenting Relationship Important For Children?
Divorcing and separating parents can have a large impact on their children’s ability to cope with changes in the family and transition into healthy adjustment. Research shows (and I have seen in my professional practice) that the strongest predictor of emotional and behavioral problems in children after divorce is exposure to high levels of conflict between parents. Parental conflict has deeper and greater consequences when the tug-of-war is hostile, antagonistic, poorly resolved and focused on matters pertaining to the kids. However, even when parents are “high conflict”, there are ways they can develop cooperative or business-like relationships for the sake of their children.
Who Can Benefit?
Parents who are divorced, separated, or are in the process of separating may benefit from co-parenting counseling. Specific treatment goals vary depending on family needs, but generally focus on reaching agreements on parenting time and child management, joint decision-making, communication, and other issues that create stress and conflict. Coparenting counseling can help resolve some of the anger or grief related to the ending of the relationship allowing the individuals to focus on parenting instead of the "unfinished business" of the past.
When parents create and maintain a strong parenting alliance after separation, children experience a secure base they can depend on while they grow up. Parents seek co-parenting counseling at all stages of separation. Some come in before they separate in order to explore how best to navigate the separation in order to meet their children's needs. Others have been coparenting for a while and want to strengthen their co-parent alliance, increase healthy communication patterns, and use joint decision-making.
Cost of Coparenting Counseling
Parents, attorneys, and other legal representatives should be aware that health insurances do not pay for co-parenting therapy. Costs for co parenting therapy run $140 for the initial assessment; $140 per 75 minute session or $250 for a 2 hour session with costs shared between the parties as apportioned by the court.
Potential additional expenses include phone consultation, court reports, preparation time and appearance at a court hearing.
Other Post-Separation Services
Co-Parent Education and Skills Group
Parent Management Training