Why Child Specialists?
If you two have children, they are very important to you. You both want the best for your children. You want to make sure that what they need is addressed in your discussions. Sometimes though, the discussions can get stuck around which of you knows what the children need.
The Child Specialist will meet with your children and with each of you and, as another neutral party, will give you and your attorneys information that you can work with. About what children in general go through at various ages as, and after, their parents divorce. But most importantly, they can give you information about your children in a way that helps keep your discussions focused on what the children need, rather than on what you each think they need.
With that information in hand, you and your attorneys can create co-parenting arrangements that meet your children’s needs in a way that fits with the other decisions you must make and contemplates your needs as well.
Even with a Child Specialist in place, you and your spouse are still the ones who must work together to parent your children going forward. You may find some of these resources helpful in preparing to work with the Child Specialist, but especially as you two begin your work together:
Up To Parents is a free service that offers "a chance for parents to take an interactive timeout from their conflict to consider 50 Commitments they could make to their children in periods of conflict and stress."
Here's a video from the creators of Up To Parents:
You may find this book helpful. You can listen to the author being interviewed about co-parenting and Collaborative Practice here.