Family Consultants

Many collaborative lawyers involve family consultants at the assessment stage of the collaborative process. They are seen as an integral part of the professional team in this client-centred approach to separation and divorce where the aim is to minimise conflict.

The role of the family consultant is varied and may include:

  • advice as to whether the collaborative process is a viable option for you
  • helping to clarify goals
  • providing information about community resources and referral where this would be beneficial
  • discussing the impact upon children of the changes which divorce brings
  • helping you to decide how to let your children know what is happening
  • working with you to devise strategies for parenting both now and in the future as your children grow and develop

Family consultants can be engaged to work directly with one or both of you:

  • to support you through stressful meetings
  • to coach you in the skills you will need
  • to help you to communicate your needs clearly
  • to work with you to improve communication with your separating partner

Some family consultants work as child specialists. They have training and experience in working with children who present worrying behaviours and can talk to you about the best ways to approach this.

Most family consultants are qualified in psychotherapy or counselling. Some are family therapists. They have a particular interest in working with people to help to resolve conflict and usually have many years of experience in working with separating couples.