Why should I work with a Family Consultant?

19 August 2021
Why to use a family consultant

At Edward Cooke Family Law, to support our legal work with our clients, we often suggest they work with Family Consultants.

Director and Family Law Specialist, Lauren Guy, and Family Consultant, Kim Crewe, of Separation Options join forces in our latest blog to share the benefits of working with a Family Consultant.

What are Family Consultants?

Family Consultants come from a therapeutic background. In addition, they have trained with Resolution, the national organisation of family lawyers committed to helping their clients resolve their issues in a constructive way, so they understand the legal framework that clients are navigating when they are experiencing separation or divorce. 

What do Family Consultants do?

Family Consultants provide practical and emotional support to clients, ideally working together with the separating couple. They can help couples who are caught in conflict or may find that their decision-making is being blocked by the emotions that have arisen around the separation. They manage the communication to ensure that both people are heard, and that their views are being taken seriously.

Family Consultants can provide advice and support in order to build a constructive and robust co-parenting relationship, in addition to providing a supportive forum to discuss day-to-day arrangements and decisions in respect of the children of the family. 

They can also play an important role in the collaborative process, by preparing the couple for the process and managing the dynamics in the room during meetings.  Family Consultants can also be invaluable when it comes to helping the couple and their collaborative lawyers identify and overcome roadblocks to resolution. More information about the collaborative process can be found here.

What are the benefits of working with Family Consultants?

Either individually or as a couple, working with a Family Consultant can help you to emotionally prepare for the legal process of a separation or divorce. Often one partner is further behind on the emotional journey, so it can be helpful for that person to have some additional sessions on their own, so that you are both ready for financial conversations.

Every family is different and every family has different needs, so a Family Consultant will take an approach to fit your own family. There is not a set number of meetings; instead, their service will be tailored to your specific needs.

Family Consultants have a good understanding of children’s development and what they need when parents separate. They can help you decide what to tell your children, when to tell them and how to tell them about your separation in an age-appropriate way.

A Family Consultant can help you put together a workable parenting plan, based on the needs of your children. You can discuss day-to-day arrangements, as well as other considerations, such as what happens when neither parent can pick up the children, how much pocket money to give, introducing a new partner and attitudes to education and health.

Including a Family Consultant as part of the process can often cut down on the expense of conversations with your lawyer for non-legal issues and can also help reduce the number of mediation or collaborative meetings you need.