post-divorce needs of children
alternative to family court Daniel B.
Pickar, Ph.D., ABPP; Child & Family Clinical and Forensic Psychology negotiating time sharing and visitation
		agreements after divorce
Parenting Plan

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

developmentally appropriate
		    parenting plan and living arrangements

Settlement-Focused Parenting Plan Consultation

When parents divorce or separate, agreements must be reached regarding appropriate time-sharing plans for children. These are frequently difficult and emotional issues for parents to sort out in the midst of their divorce. Research has shown that mediated settlements to child custody disputes encourage both parents to remain in their children's lives after divorce, without increasing co-parent conflict. Allowing others to impose a ruling frequently never ends the conflicts. Studies show that settlements negotiated by divorcing parents work better than those imposed upon them by the court.

The Settlement-Focused Parenting Plan Consultation is a new approach to resolving post-divorce child custody dilemmas that combines aspects of both child custody mediation and child custody evaluation. This method was recently developed by Dr Pickar (along with Dr. Jeffrey Kahn), with the express goal of assisting parents to resolve child custody disputes outside of the court system. Over the last few years, this method has been successfully utilized by Dr. Pickar in helping families resolve child custody disputes outside of the court system.

The Settlement-Focused Parenting Plan Consultation is a hybrid alternative dispute approach that blends the advantages of child custody evaluations, mediation, and collaborative practice, at less than half the cost of a child custody evaluation. This is a confidential, voluntary procedure that is a form of child custody mediation (or "evaluative mediation"), which occurs outside of the court system. The purpose is to involve a child custody expert at the beginning of a divorce process to offer solutions, rather than later in the process, as often occurs during a traditional litigated custody dispute. The Settlement-Focused Parenting Plan Consultation assists parents, and their attorneys, in deciding upon appropriate time-sharing plans for their children.

To achieve this goal, Dr. Pickar first meets with parents together for an initial intake/mediation session, followed by a series of individual interviews with parents and children. Also, information is obtained from collateral sources such as teachers or therapists. Dr. Pickar then assists parents (and their attorneys, if represented by counsel) in negotiating a parenting plan for their children, along with assisting with conflict disengagement and improved co-parenting. Dr. Pickar works with parents to better understand the specific, post-divorce needs of each child, based upon his/her developmental age and unique personality. In addition to working with the time-share preferences of each parent, Dr. Pickar offers empirically based knowledge regarding children's adjustment in various living arrangements following divorce, as well as information regarding developmentally appropriate parenting plans.

Click here ( PDF) for more detailed information, a fee schedule and stipulation.

co-parent counseling and
			coaching after divorce