The Role of Mental Health Professionals in Divorce
Nobody will claim that divorce is easy. Even the most amicable of situations still bring certain challenges and stresses for the divorcing couple. Interestingly, while recommending the help of a legal professional during divorce is a very common and welcome suggestion for many couples, suggesting that a couple seek help from a mental health professional often seems too personal or invasive. Mental health professionals, however, have a great deal of insight to offer a divorcing couple, especially if the divorce is being handled through mediation or collaborative law.
The help of a mental health professional can be employed in several ways, any of which may positively contribute to the divorce process. The first of these would seem to be the most traditional way, and that is, as an individual counselor or therapist. Either or both spouses and the children may independently seek the help of a therapist to better understand his or her own approach to the divorce. Counselors can aid an individual in coming to terms with his or her motivations, underlying emotional issues, and even identify potential problems before they arise. Likewise, the couple may seek counseling or therapy together, but, if the divorce is already in process, the benefits of such therapy may be limited.
A couple, however, may wish to enlist the help of a mental health professional in negotiating the divorce agreement and other considerations. In fact, collaborative law divorces frequently include professionals from many areas of expertise, such as psychologists or family counselors. Employing such a person can help the spouses identify potential areas of struggle, address them, and come to a reasonable agreement on how to deal with them in the future.
Couples with children can also utilize the services of a mental health professional in developing workable child-related arrangements. Custody evaluators and mediators are trained to look after the best interest of children in divorce situations, while remaining objective in regard to the parents. The input of an expert in child issues can reassure the divorcing parents that their child’s needs are being met in what can often be a very overwhelming situation.
If you are considering a divorce and would like more information about including a mental health professional in the process, particularly in a collaborative divorce, we can help. Contact an experienced family law attorney in Kane County to schedule a consultation. We will evaluate your case and work with you to determine the best course of action for your situation.