The child specialist is a mental health professional that helps to provide information about
how the children are coping with the divorce. This specialist can offer options for parenting
plans that meet both the developmental and psychological needs of the children.
The child specialist meets with the parents together or individually, gathers information from
collateral contacts (teachers counselors), and reviews any documentation necessary to get a
thorough picture of the child's physical, emotional and social development. After Dana has met
with the parents, the children, and gathered additional information, she will present a review of
her impressions and suggestions for helping the family with the post-divorce transition. This
meeting is typically with the parents alone. If the family is involved in the collaborative
process the inclusion of the coaches is always valuable. In some cases, a meeting with the
attorneys is also very productive.
The goal is to construct a working parenting plan that the child specialist will assist in
developing. In a collaborative case, the coaches or attorneys can help to facilitate the
production of the parenting plan.