What to Expect From Court-Ordered Therapy
When a divorce happens, the effects can be huge on relationships, finances, and families. Even though they aren’t the ones getting divorced, children often face serious emotional difficulties during and after the divorce process, especially if there is a great deal of conflict accompanying it.
The court system makes it a priority to protect such children, and one way they often do this is via court-ordered therapy. Court-ordered therapy can be a meeting between a child and a therapist, a parent and a therapist, or some combination.
If you are wondering what exactly is entailed by court-ordered therapy, we’ll give you an overview below so you know what kinds of things might cause a judge to mandate therapy and what you can expect to get out of it.
Reasons for Court-Ordered Therapy
There are a wide variety of reasons why the court might mandate that certain family members or even whole families attend therapy.
One reason may be to help the two parents communicate better through the divorce process. Suppose the couple getting divorced are being stubborn or confrontational in such a way that important agreements like child custody are being delayed. In that case, the court may mandate therapy to help ease communication. Slightly different, reunification therapy is sometimes proposed to help resolve the estrangement a child feels toward their noncustodial parent.
Therapy might also be mandated for a period of time to help a family member overcome trauma, such as that caused by domestic abuse, drug addiction, or the negative influence of a delusional parent.
In general, if the court recognizes any signs of struggling mental health in a child, such as signs of depression or inappropriate outbursts of anger, that is a sufficient reason for court-mandated therapy.
What Can Court-Ordered Therapy Help With?
Counseling services are not mandated merely at the whim of the court in order to check a box, and it is a space where real change and progress can be made in the relationship.
One of the major areas that can be improved is the parent-child relationship. Divorces can get messy, with children picking sides for a variety of reasons, both good and bad. Therapy can be a helpful tool in restoring these relationships, when, for example, one parent is lying to the child about their spouse.
Therapy can also play a role in child custody disputes. Resolving some of the tensions between parents can open up a space for more free and open conversation to happen.
Resolving some of this tension and improving relationships with children can help parents gain more leeway in the eyes of the court and improve their chances at a more favorable custody arrangement.
Is Court-Ordered Therapy Right for You?
If the family issues outlined above describe your situation, it may be time to start working with a family law attorney. In the Bay Area, there is no better firm than Hart Ginney to defend your rights and protect you and your children.
With years of experience working on a variety of family law and divorce cases, we have seen it all and are prepared to help you through your divorce, whatever it looks like.
Reach out to us today to set up a consultation!