Hiring a lawyer is one step in a divorce and custody dispute. Another important step is to seek out a therapist. A therapist can help you, your children and your spouse cope with the stress of the dispute and with all of the changes that each family member faces. As everyone's needs are different, seek out a mental health professional that addresses your concerns.
Here are some of the benefits of working with a therapist during a family court proceeding:
- While most attorneys are empathetic and sympathetic with what you are going through, they are not trained to provide mental health services. It is also more cost effective to work with a therapist rather than use your lawyer or the paralegals in this role.
- You are able to work through issues in therapy in a protected and safe space without worrying about whether information will be used against you. Be aware, however, that if you are involved in a dispute about your children, your mental health history will be open to discovery.
- Children need additional support and a safe space to share their feelings about the custody and divorce proceeding. Sometimes the safest space, when two parents are placing them in the middle of a dispute, is a therapist's office.
- You are able to address any mental health concerns you may have about yourself, your children or your spouse.
- By processing your stress and thoughts with a therapist, you may find that you are more prepared to make important decisions about your future, such as custody, property and financial support. Clients report that working with a therapist helps produce a much more clear thought process to deal with the most difficult decisions.
Many therapists focus on certain types of clients or issues, so you can choose a counselor that is experienced in marriage and family issues. It may be helpful to start your search through the Metro Denver Interdisciplinary Committee, the Colorado Collaborative Divorce Professionals, or the Colorado Association For Marriage & Family Therapy.
There are many advantages to working with a therapist on an individual level, as a couple or family group or just for your children. By utilizing the services of a mental health professional, you may discover that your path forward looks much brighter.