Crystal Wright | January 24, 2024 | Divorce
Divorce can be a tough time for everyone, and it can be even more challenging for kids who get caught in the middle. When parents are always fighting, it can upset a child and strain family dynamics.
In this article, we’re going to discuss reunification therapy. It’s a special kind of therapy that can help repair things when the relationship between a parent and child gets disrupted or damaged due to a contentious divorce.
What Is Reunification Therapy?
Reunification therapy provides assistance for families going through tough legal separations and divorces. This therapy is designed to fix things when the relationship between a parent and a child gets strained because of the divorce.
Usually, the parent who doesn’t live with the child asks for this therapy. They might do this when one or more children don’t want to spend time with them.
On the other hand, the parent who has custody of the child might say that the children just don’t want to see the other parent, and the other parent might say that the custodial parent is causing the problems.
Facilitating Healing in Disrupted Parent-Child Relationships
Sadly, some parents let their children’s worries about visitation continue for a long time, and that’s not good for the kids. Kids need to know that both their parents are there for them.
So, if you’re having this problem, you and the other parent can ask for mediation as a first step. This will allow you to discuss things and find a solution for everyone.
But if mediation doesn’t work or one parent doesn’t want to try it, the parent who wants to see the child more can ask the court to order reunification therapy.
Court-Ordered Reunification Therapy
When a court orders reunification therapy, it becomes imperative for both parents to cooperate actively in the process. The court’s order should clearly outline its specific concerns, involvement of extended family members, payment arrangements, and consequences for non-compliance.
In cases where complicating factors like substance abuse, mental illness, a history of domestic violence, or incarceration exist, the court’s order must prioritize the safety of all family members during therapy.
The Mechanisms of Reunification Therapy
The role of the reunification therapist is to prioritize the best interests of the child or children involved. The therapeutic process is neither directed by the parent nor shrouded in confidentiality. The therapist must report significant findings and outcomes back to the court.
Assessment and Preparation
First, the therapist will clarify how everything begins with an in-depth look at your family. A therapist will perform a family assessment. During this, both parents are spoken to separately. If one parent has moved away, they will seek to contact them.
Sometimes, a therapist will communicate with other experts, like parenting coordinators, to get a better picture.
But here’s the thing: sometimes, one parent might not want to do the therapy. In those cases, the therapist will help navigate the situation, thinking of what is best for the kids.
Cultivating Trust and Mitigating Blame
The therapist is like a guide on this journey, and they don’t come in thinking one parent is right and the other is wrong. They don’t blame anyone. Instead, they want to help parents and kids find a way to get along better and talk through custody arrangements. Good therapists work hard to build trust and get both parents on the same page, all for the children’s sake.
Kids also get a chance to talk to the therapist separately. This is a safe space for them to share what’s bothering them, and the therapist listens. They remind the kids that having a good relationship with both parents is important in the long run.
Potential Outcomes of Reunification Therapy
The effectiveness of reunification therapy can vary. It depends on the unique dynamics of each parent-child relationship and family interaction.
It is essential to recognize that children may not respond favorably to forced adherence to a schedule with a parent with whom they have a strained history, particularly adolescents seeking autonomy. Instead of fixating on a specific schedule, the therapeutic emphasis is on nurturing a closer emotional relationship.
Considering Reunification Therapy
If you’re a parent going through a tough time with your child after a difficult divorce, reunification therapy might be just what you need. It can be a great help in making things better.
Contact the Divorce Lawyers at Crystal Wright Law To Get Legal Assistance Today
To learn more and get the help you deserve, call our divorce & family law firm at (404) 594-2143 or reach out to Crystal Wright Law online by visiting our contact us page.
You can also visit our law firm at 440 S. Perry Street Suite 105, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.