The Child Specialist makes a distinct and often profound contribution to the Collaborative Divorce process. The Child Specialist’s expertise is helpful to parents to understand the developmental needs of their children and how their conflict impacts them. Depending upon the family dynamics, the Child Specialist may provide information about the children’s perspective and concerns for the parents’ consideration when creating their child access plans.
The task of the Child Specialist is to meet with the children to discuss their concerns and adjustment as a result of the divorce, assess their needs and then communicate that information to the parents and professional team members. Also, the Child Specialist answers questions posed by the children about the divorce process and assists the professional team in developing a parenting plan by providing information about the children.
Typically, the role of the Child Specialist is fulfilled by a mental health professional with expertise in the areas of child development and family systems as well as the impact of divorce on families and children. The scope of the Child Specialist’s work is narrowly defined and, therefore, often requires less overall involvement than the other professional team members. Many parents find the work of the Child Specialist invaluable as they navigate the divorce process with tailoring creative solutions that best meet the unique needs of their family.