Divorce itself is not what harms children. It's how the divorce unfolds that causes damage. Research has been telling us this since the 1970s.
The most harmful part of divorce for children is high levels of conflict and distress. Studies have found that family conflict hurts children more than divorce or even parental death.
This is why the new Family Law Act of British Columbia encourages parents who are separating to put the best interests of their children first.
One effective way to protect your children from the damage of divorce is to include a Child Specialist on your Collaborative Team.
The Child Specialist focuses exclusively on your children, meeting with them and giving them a safe place to tell their story. After assessing your children's needs and concerns, the Child Specialist reports back to your team.
Throughout negotiations, the Child Specialist keeps both parents and all members of the Collaborative Team focused on the well-being of each child. They can:
In short, the Child Specialist goes to bat for your children. Hearing through a neutral person what your kids are going through can inspire and guide you to make decisions that truly are in their best interests.
A Child Specialist is a certified mental health professional with special training in child development and Collaborative Divorce. They understand family dynamics and the challenges faced by children of divorce. They know how to create a safe environment for your children to express their needs.
When you enter the Collaborative Process, you are asked to sign a Participation Agreement with each professional on your team, including your Child Specialist. By signing the agreement with your Child Specialist, you agree: