The Role of Mental Health Professionals in a New Jersey Divorce
Divorce can be a high-stress situation for everyone involved. These cases are often very tense, so it is helpful to have someone who can diffuse the situation.
Mental health professionals can attempt to stabilize these high-conflict situations, providing different types of therapy to parents and families to help all parties try to see eye to eye. By working with a skilled attorney and mental health professional during your divorce, you can ensure that you receive the best possible outcome for your family. Call today to discuss the role of mental health professionals in a New Jersey divorce with a dedicated member of our team.
Types of Therapy
There are many forms of therapy available to families going through a divorce. One common type of family therapy is co-parenting therapy, which gives parties a neutral middle ground to discuss how they want to raise their children. Sometimes, a mental health professional is appointed by the court to engage in co-parenting therapy with both parents.
If one party is estranged from the children for any reason, reunification therapy may be introduced. A reunification therapist can work directly with the parent and child to help rebuild their relationship. Frequently during a divorce, children undergo a lot of stress and difficulty. A therapist who specializes in these cases could help a child through this time and ensure that they are supported and feel heard.
It is often advisable for anyone going through a divorce to consult with a mental health professional. Divorce is a loss, even if someone chose to initiate it. Therapy can help someone through the stress and anxiety that comes with such a major life event.
How Do Mental Health Professionals Help During Litigation?
The expertise of a mental health professional can be highly valuable during many types of legal cases, including child custody disputes. When the parties cannot agree upon the parenting arrangement or who should have custody of the children, a custody evaluator will often be hired. This evaluator is a mental health professional such as a psychologist or social worker. An evaluator’s role is to interview the children, parents, and any collateral and gather whatever information they think is appropriate to determine what is in the children’s best interests. This individual can then make recommendations for custody arrangements and a parenting schedule.
The guidance of an evaluator is helpful not only to the litigants, but also to the attorneys because it gives a framework of what may need to be done. Often, New Jersey judges will rely on the recommendations of mental health professionals during divorce cases as well.
Ethical Obligations of a Mental Health Professional
In divorce and child custody cases, a mental health professional will always make their determination based on what is in the children’s best interests. Even if they are hired by a particular litigant, this individual will still prioritize the children in their recommendations.
It is important to remember that a child custody evaluator is not a therapist, and therefore does not have an obligation of confidentiality. This means that it is possible for information to make its way from one party, to the evaluator, to the other party. An evaluator’s ethical role is not to provide therapy to anyone involved in the evaluation but rather to gather the information and make an assessment. It is best to consult with a knowledgeable New Jersey divorce attorney to fully understand what to expect during an evaluation with a mental health professional and how to interact with them.
Discuss the Role of Mental Health Professionals in Divorce with a New Jersey Family Law Attorney
Mental health professionals can be an invaluable resource during a divorce. These individuals can provide guidance and provide a space for parents to work on difficult issues. They can also work with an attorney to ensure your family’s wishes are represented in your divorce case.
A skilled lawyer at Moskowitz Law Group can explain the role of mental health professionals in New Jersey divorce cases in more detail during an initial consultation. Call today to get started.