Collaborative Divorce is one of the newest trends in the law in which each party has a team which consists of a lawyer and a mental health professional who serves as the coach. There also may be another mental health professional who is the child specialist, as well as a financial specialist on board. The teams meet together with the goal of reaching an agreement. The coaches assist the parties with the emotional issues that are a part of every divorce. If the case is not settled at this stage, both lawyers agree that they will not represent the parties in a contested divorce.
Divorce is one of the great traumas that one will suffer. There is no shame in seeking the assistance of a therapist in dealing with the situational anxiety and/or depression that often accompanies the end of a marriage and the pressures of the divorce. In fact, most people benefit from at least some short term therapy.
The split up of the family is traumatic for children, whether they will say so or not. They benefit from having someone they can talk to about the changes in their lives. You usually can get a referral from your child's school to a good therapist. You should make the other parent aware that you are taking the child to a therapist and should solicit his/her active involvement.
When there are concerns about either or both parties, psychologists can perform psychological testing and parenting capacity evaluations and can testify as witnesses about their findings. There always is a risk with such testing since the tests might not be favorable to your position. They also are expensive.
Mary Commander has been handling divorces as a lawyer and mediator for 30 years and is trained in Collaborative Divorce.