This is the first post in this 2 part series, discussing the role of a child therapist in a divorce case, and the importance of doing your own research before choosing one. It can make or break your children’s well-being, as well as their relationship with you as the parent.
A few things to know:
Child therapists in South Carolina are licensed according to the South Carolina Code of Laws. Obviously, when counselors or therapists are called in to work with people in the middle of divorce litigation, there is a danger that the therapist will get stuck in the middle. Often, they can have a hard time remaining unbiased—which it is their professional obligation to do.
Professional Standards for Child Therapists?
Therapists are expected to navigate these difficult situations by applying professional standards, like the American Counseling Association’s 2014 Code of Ethics, along with their state’s laws and standards.
A Child Therapist’s Primary Concern? Helping the Children
For child therapist brought into a divorce litigation, the main concern needs to be helping children transition from what was normal life to the new normal of living between two separate households. The therapist is there to help children deal with the impact of all the changes that have turned their little world upside down.
In my experience…
Although no one knows your children better than you and your spouse, in litigated divorces involving young children, at least in South Carolina, you will end up having a guardian ad litem, a child therapist and a psychological evaluator involved.
In other words, suddenly you have strangers, working closely with each other, telling you what they think is best for your children.
While the child therapist and the GAL are there to support your children during incredibly difficult times, the fact remains that the therapist and GAL have the potential to collectively make or break your children’s well-being as well as their relationship with you as the parent.
It’s important to realize that…
As with any business, there is always the possibility of corruption, or at the very least, that someone could try to seize the opportunity to take advantage of the family court system to enrich their own lives at the expense of yours, and of your children.
Attorneys typically establish working relationships with GALs and child therapists they prefer, and they tend to pick their “preferred” guardian ad litem/therapist for their clients.
What makes a therapist or GAL ‘preferred’?
Of course it can be because they are good at their jobs.
Or, it may be that there is some kind of “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine,” i.e. you speak in favor of my client, you get more business. This may lead to child therapists who take advantage of the system with dishonest diagnoses and committing insurance fraud through unwarranted billings. (More on insurance fraud in an upcoming post.)
Till then, please consider these crucial questions:
- Why would a child therapist believe one parent over the other?
- Why would an attorney recommend a child therapist who is clearly biased against one parent?
[Next in the Series]: Child Therapist in a Divorce Case – Part 2: Why You Should Always Do Your Own Research
Please scroll down to the comments below and share your point of view on this crucial situation faced by so many divorcing parents. And again, thanks so much for your enthusiastic support! I don’t know how I could have made through all this without the love and support of my family and friends. This is the first step in our creating community around Helping Every Loving Parent (HELP) to spend time with their children. Every story is important.
Footnote: I’m telling my story, sharing this intimate evidence, to shine the light of truth on how the Charleston Family Court has allowed my children to be harmed, deprived of a loving father, and used as ransom. There is no evidence of any unloving, ungenerous, irresponsible behavior on my part – ever. I want to rescue my boys and to be the loving, stable father they need in their lives. Is this asking too much?