Yes. As needed, we can work with a child specialist, which is someone who will meet with the children; talk to them; get an indication of what their concerns, goals, and interests are; and find out what’s in their best interest.
There are also other mental health professionals that operate not as therapists in collaborative divorce, but as coaches for each party. Coaches help guide the parties through the process so they can leave their emotional baggage at the door before they sit down and start talking about financial or custodial issues.
Then, of course, there are the financial experts who, when necessary, help with cash flow issues for support purposes or help determine what the value of a business might be.
The key is to have neutrality in the financial expert and the child specialist so that they’re not just hired guns representing one party’s interests, but they’re really advocating for the process. That’s how we use our allied professionals.
Founding partner of McGaughey & Spirito in Redondo Beach, California, Joe Spirito has been practicing family law since 1982 and is currently serving as secretary of the Los Angeles County Bar’s Family Law Section.