John W. Reiman   Ph.D.
Licensed Professional Counselor (L.P.C.)

Divorce and Post-divorce Parenting

Separation and divorce pose significant logistical challenges for parents and their children of all ages.

The objective of divorce/post-divorce mediation is to help parents skillfully transition from primary/spousal relationships into functional businesslike co-parenting arrangements. This is done through tapping each parent's wisdom and creativity.

Mediated agreement-building centers on the development of durable plans through a safe, well-defined, structured, and confidential process.

First, common interests across all aspects of the children's well-being are identified. Fear, anger, and communication difficulties may require a third party to help parents unearth and illuminate their most basic common wishes and concerns.

Next, parents are assisted in defining problems, generating options to resolve them, and negotiating solutions to reach the best possible agreement. The focus is on "nailing-down" and finely tuning details. "Loose ends" left untied, murky expectations, fuzzy schedules, and unclear boundaries often pull parents into more -- not less --struggle. Written agreements conclude the process.

Parenting plans include:

  • Residential, weekend, weekday, summer, birthday, vacation, holiday, in-service, etc., schedules
  • Decision-making options and responsibilities: dispute resolution strategies
  • Safe/smooth transition (pick-up/drop-off) planning
  • Communication and information sharing arrangements (mail, e-mail, phone, etc.)
  • Preparation of children for changes in residence and family identity
  • Preparation to inform co-workers, relatives, friends, etc. of changes
  • Planning for children's time with extended family (grandparents, cousins, etc.)
  • Child transportation modes, costs, safety, options
  • Issues related to parents/children with chronic illness/disabilities (physical/mental)
  • Reunification of parents and children following protracted absences
  • Issues related to drug/alcohol use

References available upon request