Divorcing parents select a single, neutral Child Specialist (CS) as part of the Collaborative Divorce team. The CS aligns with the parents’ highest values at a time when parents are functioning at their best. When children (even adult children) are immersed in the middle of their parents’ emotional distress and/or dispute, the Child Specialist serves as the voice of the children, and ensures the children’s well-being, concerns and developmental needs are at the forefront of divorce-related decisions. In the midst of divorcing parents’ turmoil, Divorce Coaches and other collaborative team members may be hard pressed to raise even legitimate concerns about the children. The Child Specialist is the only team member with a mandate to consider the wellbeing of the children.
Ria Severance, LMFT is trained as both a Collaborative Divorce Coach and Child Specialist, as well as a Co-Parenting Specialist. She co-authored “The Collaborative Divorce Advantage” wherein her chapter specifically addresses the critical value of the Child Specialist for securing the wellbeing of young and adult children alike, in the years ahead.