Research shows that developing a working co-parenting relationship is essential to both children’s and parents’ healthy adjustment to divorce.
What is Solution Focused Co-Parenting Education?
Solution Focused Co-Parenting Education is a process we developed to assist co-parents in moving from their previous personal relationship to a business relationship focused on their children. The process was developed to give co-parents an easy access, private, and non-adversarial alternative to using the court for settling ongoing conflicts and for decision making over time. In addition, the process can be child inclusive allowing your children to communicate their needs and preferences in a safe and private setting. The process is a combination of co-parenting education, conflict resolution skills training, and mediation. Solution Focused Co-Parenting Education is not a parenting class or counseling. The focus is on the co-parenting relationship between the adults and on assisting them to develop effective co-parenting strategies, to learn conflict resolution skills, and to develop co-parenting agreements specifically customized to their unique situation.
Solution Focused Co-parenting Education can help with:
- Newly separated or divorcing parents
- Never married co-parents
- High or moderate conflict custody cases
- Parental reunification cases
- Guardianship cases with guardians and biological parents as co-parents
- Roles of step-parents and new partners in the co-parenting relationship
How does it work?
Participation can be voluntarily agreed to or it can be ordered by the court and the process can be used at any stage in a custody case.
Phase one of the process can be used as a pre-mediation tool to help people be more prepared for making agreements in mediation or as a post-mediation or post-court tool to help people develop strategies for co-parenting in the future. In the first phase of the process co-parents participate together in a series of 2 hour sessions to identify the strengths and limitations of their current co-parenting relationship. The co- parents are then taught co-parenting skills, conflict resolution skills and will work to develop co-parenting agreements specific to their needs. At the end of Phase one co-parents will have learned more effective ways to resolve conflict in their co-parenting relationship, will have reduced misunderstandings, and will have developed a number of co-parenting agreements to guide them going forward and that can be incorporated into their parenting plan.
Phase two of the process is the Mediation phase. In this phase of the process the mediator and co-parenting coach will work with the co-parents to mediate modifications to their current parenting plan or to develop a new and comprehensive parenting plan if they do not already have one in place. During the mediation phase the mediator/co-parenting coach will continue to reinforce the use of the skills learned in phase one as the co-parents work towards agreement.
Phase three of the process provides ongoing education, mediation, and co-parenting coaching on an as needed basis. Participants can voluntarily agree or may be court ordered to continue in the process to address new issues as they arise. In this phase the mediator/co-parenting coach is available to assist by telephone and in scheduled meetings with a variety of co-parenting concerns providing parents with an easy access, private, and non-adversarial option to address issues as they arise and helping them avoid costly and adversarial court involvement in the future.