Divorce Pathways

Mediation for Family Conflict

As a certified Family Mediator, I am interested in helping couples and families come to collaborative resolutions over difficult family, relational, and custody issues that they may face. These issues may arise in the context of a divorce, separation, or during the everyday struggles faced by all families that can become significant enough to threaten the harmony and quality of life of a family and/or its individual members. Mediation is preferable to the traditional litigious process of conflict resolution which is often adversarial, lengthy, costly, and stressful.

In my capacity as mediator, my utmost efforts are directed towards the advocacy of any children involved and to the protection of their best interests during family conflict. As a neutral professional, impartial to any adult parties involved in a conflict, I seek to advocate for minor children who may be caught in the “cross-hairs” of a significant family conflict. I am part of a team that can facilitate all aspects of a divorce, and am available for consultation.

Mediation for Child Custody and Divorce Parenting Planning

Divorce is the most common situation in which my mediation skills are used, especially divorce involving minor children. With my experience as a behavioral pediatrician, social worker, and therapist I can help parents arrive at parenting plans that work in the best interests of their children. The goal in divorce situations is to provide for optimal assimilation of children into separate parent-homes while maintaining good relationships and functioning between parents and children. It is vital, in these times of significant change, for children to continue to be functional at home, socially, and at school. For children to maintain their resilience through this process, it is also extremely important that they not be the center of, nor exposed to, significant conflict between their parents which can be quite traumatic for them.

I am happy to consult with any individuals or couples who would like assistance with the parenting or custody planning for their children due to a separation or divorce. I offer a “kinder, gentler” process of negotiation between partners which focuses on what is best for everyone involved, especially the children. One of the most difficult concepts for separating couples to accept is that what is best for their children is often not what they want for themselves. The assistance of a neutral professional can be very helpful to couples struggling with the emotions of anger and hurt. The “must win” mindset that is so typical during these times of relational conflict, and which is often forwarded by the legal profession, is a dangerous strategy where children are involved. In addition, mediating the parenting plan gives both parents, not the courts, control over these difficult decisions.

Advocacy for Children and Families

One of the most common circumstances in which a family or child may need an advocate is in cases involving education law. Many children are eligible for special services or academic accommodations, pursuant to education laws. However, often parents are unaware of not only what accommodations and services their child may receive, but how to navigate the laws and procedures that give their children these entitlements.

I frequently assist families in their interactions with schools. Family education has always been a focus of my practice and I strive to make sure that parents are educated in those services and accommodations for which their child may be entitled because of the child’s particular mental/ behavioral health situation. Very often children with Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorders (general or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), or children on the Autism Spectrum (Pervasive Developmental Disorders, PDD) will benefit from special education services, learning support, and classroom accommodations. Such support services can follow the child all the way to and through their college years. Parents need help navigating the many “hoops” that schools try to make them go through. This process is already emotionally charged, but does not need to be overwhelming and defeating.

I am happy to consult with any parent about how education law may assist their student(s).

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