Whether you are separated or divorced, or share a child with a former partner,
there are issues which commonly arise in July and August prior to the
start of school. These back-to-school issues often need immediate attention,
and court calendars may not accommodate the issue in a timely fashion.
In addition to the time crunch, litigating the issues may be cost prohibitive.
We are often asked whether issues in a post-dissolution or a post-paternity
decree can be addressed collaboratively. The answer is a resounding "YES!"
It is always better to resolve children's issues by collaboration
and open communication than by litigation. Not only does it address immediate
issues, but collaborative practice sets the stage for future resolution
via communication between the parties without the need for attorneys.
Where the children attend school is often a source of disagreement, the
desire of a party to have a child attend private or parochial school instead
of public school, and the payment of the cost of that private or parochial
education, are often issues that are not fully addressed in divorce or
paternity decrees because of the age of the children at the time of the
decree. Collaborative practice can be used to work through these issues
in positive ways, and sets the stage for resolution of similar issues
that may arise as the children grow. Child specialists are often used
to evaluate the educational process and the application of the proposed
education to the individual child.
The use of medication, i.e. prescriptions for ADD, ADHD, and depression,
are often hotly contested between separated parents. Parents are quick
to make judgments as to the best interests of his/her child without considering
the position of the other parent. Again, child specialists gather information
from treating health care professionals and educators, as well as from
parents, and work with the parents and their attorneys to resolve the
The financial impact of sending a child to college is significant. Some
parents save and are prepared for those large bursar bills, while others
haven't been able to save, and find themselves in the financial situation
of being unable to pay for college. Collaboratively trained financial
specialists are useful in evaluating the financial impact of college and
applying financial strategies to create plans of action for college payments.
Creative solutions are often available when the parties use knowledgeable
professionals to help guide them through the process.
Extracurricular activities, and the expense of those activities, increase
greatly as the children age. Some parties can afford to have the children
in every activity from school- supported sports to private/club sports.
Others simply cannot. Collaborative practice can be used to help the parties
view these activities rationally and cooperatively. It allows the parents
to openly dialogue as to the best interests of the child in participating
in the sport or sports and the financial impact of the parent, and perhaps
the child, by allowing the child to participate.
Collaborative practice is an efficient and time effective way to 1) evaluate
the problem; 2) research resolutions; and 3) apply plans of action that
resolve issues. Collaborative practice is an excellent tool to resolve
all family issues – not just issues that arise during the divorce.
Efficient, effective, and economical: collaborative practice is the answer
to your post-decree disputes!