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Think Twice about that Custody/Access Assessment. I did.

July 27, 2015

I continue to decline referrals for child custody/access assessments with court involved separated parents as I have since January 2015.

So far I have turned away about $30,000.00 worth of work. I think that speaks to my commitment to peacekeeping settlement services such as mediation and collaborative law.

As can be imagined, for the first part of the year I saw quite a reduction in my revenues, but then something great started to happen. Those early referrals for assessments were coming back as requests for mediation and I was receiving more referrals for my other creative settlement services. Now my revenues are about the same as they were last year at this time.

Today I received yet another email request for information about a child custody/access assessment. Here was my reply:

Dear _____,

Thank you for your interest in my service.

In January 2015, I decided I was no longer going to provide court involved service. This includes custody/access assessments.

I have long since learned that court involvement to resolve these matters typically results in an escalation of parental conflict, which in turn is toxic to the well being of children. Further and whereas in the past, this service did prompt some parents to resolve their issues, in more recent years, it seems that as one parent is dissatisfied, it only serves as the stepping stone to the next round of conflict. In other words, court involvement and those services directed for court use are contributory to the very parental conflict from which parents seek relief.

Since January 2015, I have retooled my services towards only peacekeeping.

I do provide a suite of services that are directed to helping separated parents resolve their issues outside of the court arena.

If I may be helpful with any of those services, it would be my pleasure to do so.

Here you will find a listing of my settlement services with complete explanations of each;
http://www.yoursocialworker.com/contact.htm

Parents are so convinced that custody/access assessments and court are going to save the day and provide a good outcome.

It only seems that that approach contributes the the agony experienced by all.

Parents, please reconsider. Please also know that at any time during the litigation process, you can always withdraw and redirect to peacekeeping services such as mediation, collaborative law or any of my other creative services.

In the end, parents want and need parenting agreements that are most likely to be followed and are durable. Agreements determined between the parents themselves are most likely to provide for that and that is what I strive to provide.

Think twice about that custody/access assessment. I did.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker.

https://garydirenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/gary-feb-12.jpg?w=200&h=301

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
http://www.yoursocialworker.com

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships.

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