Who better to determine a child’s future than his or her parents? Case management is a mechanism to help parents overcome communication barriers and work together to resolve disputes. A case manager may be appointed by the court in a high conflict custody dispute. A case manager is responsible for providing services, other than mediation, to help facilitate cooperative parenting. When a dispute arises between co-parents, case management offers an excellent alternative to court involvement. The case manager will take the knowledge he or she has learned and make a recommendation to the court.
Child(ren) will be interviewed two times for 45 minutes each. Each parent will bring the child to the office. The Court can expect a full report within two weeks of the order being entered assuming Mother and Father’s cooperation.
Child Custody Evaluations
Child Custody Evaluations address issues of custody and parenting time, and a formal report to the court. Child Custody Evaluations are completed by a master’s level mental health professional or higher and include between 25 to 35 hours of work. From start to finish Child Custody Evaluations will be completed in eight weeks. Child Custody Evaluations include at least two meetings with the parents, at least four meetings with child(ren) who have reached verbal age, at least one home observation in each parents home, personal and collateral contacts, and a report to the Court. TLP will do out of state cases at an additional cost based on the distance to be traveled. Child Custody Evaluations include a final meeting where the Custody Evaluators recommendations are explained to the parties.
Limited Custody Evaluations
Limited Custody Evaluations address specific issues as outlined by court order, and includes between 10-15 hours of work. From start to finish Limited Custody Evaluations will be completed within six weeks. Limited custody evaluations will include at least one meeting with each parent, at least two meetings with the child(ren) who are of verbal age, possible home observation in each home depending on the issue to be addressed, contact with professional collateral contacts, and a report to the Court.
Mediation is a process by which a neutral third party works with both parents to facilitate parenting agreements. With the consent of both parents, financial issues may be discussed in the mediation process as well. Everything discussed during mediation is confidential. The mediation process usually consists of one individual session with each parent in which issues will be outlined as well as one or two joint sessions with both parties. Alternative arrangements can be made if necessary. At the conclusion of the mediation process, if an agreement is reached, the mediator will journalize that agreement and submit to the parties and counsel, if applicable, for approval. A mediated agreement does not become binding until signed by both parties and, most importantly, approved by the court.
There are many constructs to consider when determining a parent’s ability and capacity to adapt their practices. The Parenting Assessment via a written report to the Court identifies in detail, a parent’s strengths and needs in the areas of development, attachment and relationships, interactions, roles parents play and more.
- Some parents may have strength in understanding child development but struggle to practice appropriate discipline, or struggle to provide emotional support, or to create safe boundaries, the parenting assessment provides the Court a clear picture of where the individual parent’s strengths and needs are.
- The Parenting Assessment utilizes parent meetings/interviews and parent-child observations as well as written assessments to develop conclusions about parenting styles.
- A written report to the Court and/or any other referring party will be provided as part of the this service. When completed as intended, the Court could expect a full report within 4-6 weeks of initiation of service.
- This service may be used in conjunction with the Supervised Parenting Time, Therapeutic Supervised Parenting Time and/or Individualized Parent Education Programs.
A Parenting Coordinator is a court-appointed Professional who assists the parties in implementing safe and workable parenting plans. The Parenting Coordinator has expertise in divorce, families, children and custody and parenting time issues.
Goals of appointing a Parenting Coordinator:
- Minimize chronic conflict
- Focus and educate parents on the needs of their children
- Reduce Litigation
- Implement the parenting plan
- Improve communication