One common aspect of all our services is the commitment to reducing conflict, not contributing to it. This may sound like stating the obvious, but many unfortunate families know that well intentioned people can inadvertently contribute to the conflict.
A brief description of some service categories is provided below. In particular, we encourage you to become familiar with parenting coordination and team supported divorce.
Parenting coordination is a process where a qualified professional uses a mixture of education, mediation, arbitration, and counselling to reduce the amount of conflict that a family is experiencing. The objective is to help the family transition through the separation process with as little conflict as possible, and if the conflict is already quite high, manage the conflict and help them progress more quickly to a point where they can function on their own.
In situations of acute or chronic high, conflict parenting coordination can be court ordered. This gives the parenting coordinator greater authority and empowers him or her to ensure that, for the children's sake in particular, the level of conflict is reduced and contained. This service is suitable for situations where there is interference with parenting time and/or parental alienation, domestic violence or unsubstantiated allegations of violence and abuse, concerns about capacity to adequately care for the children, etc.
Mediation is a family-centred conflict resolution process in which an impartial third party assists the participants in negotiating a consensual, informed and fair agreement. Decision-making rests with the parties throughout. The mediator assists the parties in identifying issues and information needs, reducing obstacles to communication, exploring alternatives, and focusing on the needs and interests of those who are affected.
When separated parents reach an impasse on issues related to the children, decisions need to be made and the Court process is often not very suitable. Issues such as where a child will go to school, Christmas and summer vacation schedules each year, extra curricular activities, etc. cannot be left undetermined.
Using an arbitrator with suitable training, skills, and experience can result in lower costs, more timely resolution, and greater satisfaction with the process.
Incorporating arbitration into co-parenting coordination can result in fewer impasses, and when an impasse is reached, the person doing the arbitration will have considerable background information and experience with the family to draw from and inform his or her decision.
Team Supported Divorce
Team divorce is a non-adversarial approach that uses an interdisciplinary team to help families transition as smoothly as possible through the stressful and challenging process of restructuring their emotional, financial, and legal relationships.
To better serve the complex, multidimensional needs of families going through separation and divorce, team divorce uses a variety of professionals working collaboratively to meet the needs of the family. Possible team professionals include: a divorce coach for each parent, a child specialist, a financial analyst, a collaborative family law lawyer for each parent, a mediator, arbitrator, counsellors, etc. (Note that team divorce generally costs considerably less than using just a lawyer.)
A divorce coach provides support and guidance, during the difficult time of separation and divorce. Divorce coaches can be used on a somewhat stand alone basis, or as a member of a 'collaborative divorce' team.
In a 'collaborative divorce' process, the child specialist conveys to the parents and the team the needs and interests of the children. The child specialist also assists the children adjust to and cope with the changes.
Family and Individual Counselling - Pre/post separation/divorce
Practical, solution-focused counselling for individuals, children and families. Counselling is structured to work collaboratively with other services and professionals that are involved with the family before, during, and after separation/divorce.