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Couples are self-selecting. Couples choose each other. Some say we choose all of our partnerships, to work through long standing and unresolved issues in ourselves and with our families. When you begin to understand how the past fits into your life today, you can have more compassion for yourself and your partner. The hope is you will be able to forgive each other and release yourselves from painful patterns. Coming to terms with the past is a way to move on from it, and feel better about yourself and each other.
Preparation for Child Custody Evaluations
Though Tara’s approach is to do everything possible to settle co-parenting related issues, there are times when the Court does intervene and in a rather heavy handed manner. The child custody evaluation is a next step in the litigation model’s arsenal.
Custody evaluations are critical in contested custody cases, yet co-parents routinely go into sessions with the basic knowledge about the process and what is expected of them. True to the attitude that brought them to this low moment, co-parents in custody evaluations take inflexible positions. Tara helps parent’s dig themselves out of entrenched positions, evaluate their goals, become pro-active in getting the help they need to strengthen and repair while developing a child-centered co-parenting plan that will get them through the evaluation process and promote the best interests of their children. This same process can help prepare a parent for child custody mediation.
Raising children in a blended family?
Be patient. Lower your expectations.
Thinking About Co-parenting Plans
West Los Angeles, 11340 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 265, at Corinth near Sawtelle, Los Angeles, California
Every Wednesday at 12pm - 1:30pm
$40 - $80 per session
Every parent with children who move between two households needs a co-parenting plan whether they were married or not. Tara will explain in-depth how to think about and use the 5 building blocks of a co-parenting plan: Legal Custody, Physical Custody, Holidays and Vacations, and Other Orders. Meeting once a month groups are organized around stages of childhood: infants and toddlers; school aged; tweens and teens, and special needs/learning differences. Useful for new co-parents and those contemplating modification of an existing co-parenting plan. Both co-parents are welcome or come on your own.
11340 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 265, at Corinth near Sawtelle, West Los Angeles, California
Every Wednesday at 5:30pm - 7pm
$40 - $80 per session
This is a recurring 4 week group focused on parents going through separation and divorce. Focus on how to have a more peaceful, less traumatizing alternative to court. The last session culminates in a family law attorney-mediator as a guest speaker who will also take one question from each participant. Topics covered: How to think about the 'new normal' known as joint custody;' a child focused holiday and vacation plan that reduces co-parent conflict; examples of how to use 'other orders' and techniques for better co-parent communication. Come with your co-parent or come by yourself.
This could be the best way to protect your children. Children suffer the most in divorces, being powerless and torn by their feelings for both parents. You can help them -- and yourself -- by following these five guidelines:
1. Never speak bitterly of your co-parent in front of the children. Demand that new partners, friends and family do the same. Keep your feelings of rage, hurt and loss away from them. Sharing with the kids might make you feel better for a short while, but it's a dead end. Don't ask the children to keep secrets, give you advice or otherwise ease your pain.
2. It is your job to help your kids. Not the other way around.
3. Children almost always feel they're at fault as the parents enter the divorce cycle. They'll often ask repeatedly what they did wrong. Perhaps they will promise to do better in school or clean their rooms. Tell the children that the divorce had nothing to do with them. They must know both parents love them no matter what happens.
4. Look after your health, nutrition and stress levels. The physical toll associated with dissolution and child custody issues can be high. Your immune system will be under attack. Spend time with friends and find ways to relax, or at least decompress. See your medical doctor.
5. Find within yourself the maturity, clarity and lack of ego to seek co-parenting counseling with your former partner. The benefits are enormous -- they'll help ease the pain for everyone in your family