holiday and weekend time sharing for divorced parents
help with
		effective co-parent communication Daniel B.
Pickar, Ph.D., ABPP; Child & Family Clinical and Forensic Psychology mediation for divorcing
		parents with kids
Child Custody Mediation

Daniel B. Pickar, Ph.D.
1212 College Ave., Suite A
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Tel: (707) 566-0296
Fax: (707) 843-5095

reducing divorce related conflict

Child Custody Mediation

Child custody mediation is a voluntary method of resolving a legal dispute regarding the issue of a parenting plan that is in "the children's best interests." When parents divorce or separate, agreements must be reached regarding appropriate time-sharing plans for children. Child custody mediation is a private settlement process that emphasizes informed decision-making and the facilitation of mutually acceptable agreements. Research has shown that mediated settlements to child custody disputes leads to lower co-parenting conflict in parents who mediated, rather than litigated custody, and encourages both parents to remain in their children's lives after divorce. Child custody mediation assists parents in identifying their common underlying interests in the positive growth and development of their children.

In mediation sessions, Dr. Pickar provides a safe place for parents to engage in the difficult work of devising a post-separation parenting plan agreement for the children. Each parent is helped to clarify their particular wishes for their children, but respectful communication and understanding of the other parents' interests and point of view is also an essential part of the mediation process. Dr. Pickar helps parents clarify their areas of agreement and disagreement, assists them to resolve areas of conflict, and to consider various options for reaching a parenting plan agreement.

Issues that might need to be mediated as part of a parenting plan agreement include:

  • Time-share schedule for children
  • Holiday and vacation time with the children
  • Decisions regarding education, healthcare, religious observance, mental health care
  • Methods for co-parent communication
  • Tailoring agreements to unusual parental work schedules
  • Devising future, developmentally appropriate parenting plan adjustments to take place as children get older
  • Depending on the age of the child, possibly interviewing the child(ren) to learn of their views on parental relationships and parenting plan arrangements

Mediation is confidential, but if a settlement is reached, Dr. Pickar can provide a written parenting plan agreement to the parents, which can then be given to their attorney to serve as the basis for a court order.


Fees for Mediation are $325 per hour, which includes direct meetings and time spent writing parenting plan agreements.

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