Our Family Forward is committed to helping parents make the transition from their partnership as spouses to their partnership as co-parents as smoothly and confidently as possible. We recognize that co-parenting across two households will require more intentional communication than living under the same roof. The amount of interaction can be emotionally and logistically challenging, especially in the early phases of a divorce. Our Family Forward is founded on the belief that one of the biggest gifts divorcing parents can give their children is effective and healthy co-parenting—-and that the sooner this begins, the better for children.
Our Family Forward will create a customized approach to support and guide you, the parents, as decision-makers on family and co-parent relationship issues. You get to determine which of our potential services you want and need. We can also advise you on additional resources to help with your divorce and moving forward.
These are some of the specific ways Our Family Forward can help you set a foundation for effective co-parenting:
- Helping you create a developmentally attuned We Statement to guide your conversation with your children about the divorce. Though especially helpful at the beginning of the process, a We Statement can be used at any stage to help children understand they are not in the middle, and to reinforce that parents will continue to love, nurture and care for them together.
- Suggesting ways that you could develop We Statements for others who have been connected in significant ways to your family, e.g. extended family members, family friends or close neighbors, teachers and other school personnel, your community of faith, to clarify your wish for support and respect for all family members as you go through a difficult transition.
- Mapping out a Relationship Plan to guide your path through any emotional triggers or landmines that could derail effective co-parenting communication and cooperation.
- Guiding you to set individual and joint goals for your divorce process and for moving forward.
- Assisting you to work out temporary living arrangements to reduce stress, help define healthy boundaries and support effective co-parenting.
- Bringing your children’s voices into the process in a safe and neutral way that honors and affirms their roles as stakeholders in their family’s future.
- Advising and helping to shape your creation of a developmentally responsive Parenting Plan containing agreements about how you will continue to make decisions about and spend time parenting your children.