Sunday, September 17, 2006

Kids & Divorce: Mediation, Education & Visitation Help

I watched a show on KQED Public Television the other night called "Kids and Divorce: For Better or Worse" which all divorcing parents should watch. You can click on the link above and order the one-hour video.

The show features children going through the difficulties of their parents' divorce, including their heartbreaking requests for their parents to stop fighting, to stop the negative comments about the other parent, to stop making them choose between their parents, as well as their concerns and confusion about what divorce really means and whether kids can be divorced too.

The show included many Family Law experts such as therapists, judges, mediators and attorneys discussing ways to minimize the suffering of the children, which each of the experts has witnessed and has proactively worked to reduce in the families with whom they have worked. All of the experts are strong supporters of parents working together to reduce their own fighting and hostility for the mental and emotional health and safety of their children. This includes mediation, education and, in some cases, assistance with visitations.

Kids' Turn (divorce education for families going through divorce) and Rally Family Visitation Services (supervised visitation and supervised exchanges), which both provide services for the San Francisco Bay Area, were featured as important child-centered projects which assist divorcing parents and their families in maintaining strong parent-child relationships during this difficult time.

From the Kids' Turn website: "The goal of Kids’ Turn programs is to help minimize the negative effects of divorce on children. The programs are educational (not therapy) focusing on skill building and positively affecting each family’s ability to manage the changes created by divorce or separation."

From the Rally website: "When your family is in conflict, Rally Family Visitation Services is a safe, positive environment dedicated to your child's future. Rally provides a healthy, neutral environment with professional staff and trained volunteers who supervise visits and exchanges between children and parents. These services are designed for children who may be at risk of emotional or physical harm following their parents' separation or divorce."

As a Family Law attorney and mediator, I have always recommended these projects to families, and with great success. I strongly recommend all parents consider these as options in their divorce or custody matters.


Dina Lynch, said...

Hi Paula,

I saw the announcement of your blog and wanted to add my welcome to Diane Levin's.

The video you recommend sounds so beneficial. I'd encourage you and other mediators to consider delivering a similar program as a teleseminar for families in your community.

As the author of the blog,, I strongly believe using 21st century tools like teleseminars, blogging and podcasting to educate will increase the use of mediation services.

I hope you and your readers will join me on Oct. 17th from 3-4 EST. to talk about the three sentences that keep mediators poor. Drop by for details.

Again, welcome!

Dina Beach Lynch
Business Mensch

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