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What should you expect from co-parenting counseling?

Divorced parents are typically expected to put aside the differences that led to their break-up and the additional animosity created during their divorce and work together amicably to raise their children. However, in some cases, parents just aren't able to do that. This is where co-parenting counseling can be helpful.

In some cases, parents reach a joint consent agreement to seek professional help from a therapist with experience in family counseling. In other cases, counseling may be ordered by the court.

The purpose of co-parenting counseling isn't to rehash the issues that led to the break-up. It's designed to help parents learn how to better communicate and work together to raise their children.

One retired family court judge says that he has seen many instances in which co-parenting counseling helped families move forward. He notes that it can save time, money and energy in constant court battles over parenting issues.

While a court may order parents to attend a specific number of counseling sessions, they may decide to continue longer if it's helping them be better parents. Even if the counseling is court-ordered, what goes on in the sessions is typically kept confidential. The therapist is not there to gather evidence that one parent can use against the other or to eventually testify on behalf of one person or the other.

Sometimes parents don't go in to counseling until their issues have become so serious that they're barely able to communicate with one another. That's why it's often better to get co-parenting counseling sooner rather than later. The retired judge says that many people have told him they wished they hadn't waited so long to do it.

If you're considering asking your ex to participate in counseling or if a judge has ordered it, find out more about the process and what you can and should expect from it from your attorney.

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