By creating a clear parenting plan, your family can avoid future stress by having a solid plan in place for where the children live, what their schedule is, and how information is passed between the parents, among other things. You may have heard of legal terms such as “custody” and “access” used to refer to these arrangements. A parenting plan does not use legal jargon but rather focuses on the roadmap for family life after a divorce or separation, made by the parents through mediation.
In order to work on a Parenting Plan with a professional, you and your partner (or ex-partner) need to be willing to work together in the best interests of your child(ren). The team at Peachey Counselling & Family Support helps you to negotiate the terms of the agreement and will make suggestions that serves your unique family best. Parenting Plans can be a great way to avoid the stress that comes with the court process.
It is always recommended that you speak to a lawyer prior to finalizing any agreement. Get in touch with Stefanie to find out if creating a Parenting Plan would be helpful for your family.
Custody and Access Assessments
Section 30 of the Children’s Law Reform Act allows a judge to order a custody and access assessment in certain circumstances, or for parties to agree to have one completed. These circumstances vary but generally involve serious clinical concerns by the judge such as the mental health of the child, parental alienation, or a concern that one or both parents are unable to care appropriately for the child(ren). The purpose of an assessment is to garner the observations and opinions of a qualified professional who will use this information to make recommendations in a formal report regarding the post-separation custody and access of the child(ren). Please contact Stefanie to discuss this type of assessment in more detail.
Voice of the Child Reports
Voice of the Child Reports are one technique to ensure that children have the opportunity to be heard in custody proceedings. It may be ordered by a Judge when there is a contentious matter involving parenting or may be requested by either of the parties involved in the matter. Such a report, sometimes known as the Views of the Child Report, provides information about what the child thinks about his or her life and the issues in dispute between the parents to the court to assist in the decision making process. The Clinician's role is to ascertain the independent views and preferences of the child and to provide these views in a formal report to the court.
Psycho-Educational Session for Separating Parents
This 2-hour session is for parents who are planning to separate and would like to know how to support their children through this major life change. Learn how to tell your children about the changes in the family, how to support them through the transition and what to look for post-separation. While this is helpful to each individual parent, it is also helpful in setting the tone of the separation moving forward to ensure that your children's needs are of the utmost priority and so you can feel confident in supporting them throughout the process and afterwards.