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Coparenting After Divorce

Using a GPS analogy, Co Parenting After Divorce presents a road map for developing a customized parenting plan either with a parenting coordinator or on your own. Learn what to expect from a parenting coordinator and from the court system, how to track factors important for your child's development, how and when to adjust the plan, and how to handle bumps in the road and avoid common mistakes. Written by one of only a few experts on parenting coordination, Dr. Debra Carter provides solid information that every divorcing parent needs to know before, during and after the divorce. Instead of letting conflict and divorce harm children, this book helps parents avoid actions and behaviors that influence kids in a lifelong negative way, and instead gives parents tools to prevent harm to their children even when parents are no longer together.
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Table of Contents

Chapter One: Parenting Coordination: the GPS Model A. GPS (Guidance for Parenting System) as a Road Map for Parenting B. What is a Parenting Coordinator? C. Benefits of Parenting Coordination D. Effects of Divorce on Children E. Our Family Redefined This chapter will cover the global positioning device analogy as a road map for parenting, with photographs and diagrams to help explain the model. An overview will cover the role of the parenting coordinator and the focus of parenting coordination: your children. The benefits of parenting coordination will be given; with evidence-based studies in support. The parenting coordinator works with you and your co-parent (who is or will be your ex-spouse) to set the destination for your child. Because it's not will your children be harmed by divorce, but how much, the effects of divorce on children will be presented in evidence-based studies. The Research section of the book will list more research for professionals and parents who want further scientific validation. The chapter will end with the concept of change in families as a normal process: growing up, moving out, and moving on. The family is now a new system, with co-parents and other supports for the children. Children are the focus of the new system. Chapter Two: Satellites A. Satellite Tracking B. Parenting Coordinator "GPS" Model C. Other Resources D. Timeline: What to ExpectThis chapter will use the GPS analogy of satellite tracking: identifying, agreeing upon, and tracking important factors for children. Important factors include physical health, mental health, academics, friends, spiritual growth, and extended family, among others. To know where your child is, you get input from many sources. These satellite sources all help you track where your child is and if he is on track to reach his destination. Every GPS has a "resources" button to find fuel, food, attractions, and points of interest. The parenting coordinator helps find needed resources such as counseling, tutoring, or medical care. What to expect from the parenting coordinator is covered in this chapter, as well as an idea of the phases of parenting coordination: a general timeline of how the process works as the family moves through the divorce and into the future. Chapter Three: Nuts and Bolts A. The Court Order B. Conflict of Interest C. Confidentiality D. Communication with the Court E. Withdrawal F. Power of the PC (what if we don't agree) G. Contract H. Fees: an investment in your children I. GPS: Areas to avoid This chapter explains the legal system and its rules: the Court Order of Referral and why it refers to a parenting plan - not a parenting suggestion. The power of the parenting coordinator is described, as well as what to do if you don't agree. Conflicts of interest are explained in terms of dual roles and other problems which would lead to ethical problems. Other nuts and bolts issues include confidentiality, and how the parenting coordinator lets the Court know what is going on with the family. A sample contract is presented, with reasons for contracting and explanations of the various sections. Lastly, areas to avoid are highlighted so you can avoid common mistakes. This will also let you see if the parenting coordinator is doing something she should not do, or asking something that is not in line with her role. Chapter Four: Setting the Route? A. PC interventions B. Fastest Route, Shortest Route C. Avoid Toll Roads D. Avoid U-Turns E. Preparing for the Future The parenting coordinator will use many different ways to map out the best route for your children. The GPS analogy takes the final destination ("where do you want your child to be at 18?") and then calculates a path from where the child is now. The GPS can be set to the fastest or shortest route. Toll roads can be avoided (costly interventions that may not be necessary). U-turns can be avoided by staying on track. Traffic and weather alerts warn of problems ahead so you can be prepared. Preparing for the future is an important area that deals with new parenting partners, new siblings (stepchildren as well as new children born of a new couple), new in-laws, and the changing needs of children as they grow. Chapter Five: Conflict, Change, and The Parenting Plan A. Zoom in, zoom out B. What does the plan include? C. What is not included? D. Recalculating The Parenting Plan is the master map for the child. The GPS can zoom in for details, and then zoom out to make sure that you don't lose sight of the big picture. Items in the plan are discussed at length, as well as items that are not part of the plan. You will know what to expect, and what not to hope for. Everyone makes mistakes. Your children will lose their way. You will lose track, too. And the unexpected will always crop up. When that happens, the GPS will recalculate to find the best way to get back on track. Ongoing meetings with the parenting coordinator act as the GPS to recalculate as needed. Whatever the changes, the parenting coordinator helps modify the parenting plan as needed. Chapter Six: Selecting Your Plan A. Customized Plan B. Self-Assessment Tools The parenting plan is customized based on your parenting style, while meeting your children's needs. To make the customized plan, self-assessment of your parenting style is needed. This chapter has easy-to-use self-assessment tools for parents. Most states and provinces now require parenting plans which parents must select on their own if they are not represented by attorneys. Links for online completion of the self-assessment will be given for those who would like to complete the exercises online. Chapter Seven: Bumps in the Road Introduction: Letting Go. A. Walking Away B. Too Close C. Mental Illness D. Addiction E. Violence When the road gets bumpy, it can be because old hurts and resentment get in the way. Letting go is one of the hardest parts of the divorce process. It is important to learn to let go and cope with old - and new - hurts in a way that protects your children. Some bumps are harder to handle than others. Your co-parent with mental illness may be unpredictable and unreliable. Or she may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, which can endanger your children. The highest risk to your children is the violent co-parent. This chapter deals with practical steps to take when these bumps in the road come up. Examples and exercises help to explain this difficult area. Chapter Eight: Are We There Yet? A. When does it end? B. Boundaries C. Check-upsThe phases of parenting coordination are very different, and it can be confusing to know when parenting coordination should end. The normal growth and re-formation of the new family will occasionally be difficult, and the plan will sometimes go awry. The parenting coordination timeline is reviewed, with examples of when to come back for a checkup.Boundaries are an important part of the parenting process. Boundaries between you and your children, you and your co-parent, and you and your parenting coordinator are discussed, with examples and exercises to recognize healthy and unhealthy boundaries. The ultimate goal is to create hope: hope that you and your children can grow into this new reality.Resources: Useful Websites for ParentsReferencesResources: Research

Promotional Information

$1000 marketing and publicity budgetNational radio and TV interviewsFeatures in: Association of Family & Conciliation Courts; Parenting Coordination publications; forensic family court publications; parenting magazines Advertising in . . . Promotion targeting family court and parenting publicationsPublished to coincide with . . .Association of Family & Conciliation Courts annual international conference at end of May 2015 - the world's largest professional family law conference.Promotion on the author's website www.carterpsych.comPublicity and promotion in conjunction with the author's speaking engagements

About the Author

Debra K. Carter, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and internationally recognized expert in parenting coordination. She is co-founder of the National Cooperative Parenting Center, author of the professional title, Parenting Coordination: A Practical Guide for Family Law Professionals, and a frequent keynote speaker across the U.S. and Italy. Dr. Carter resides in Florida.


"This book, written by a pioneer in the development of Parenting Coordination practice, is a well-crafted, practical guide for parents who have lost their direction in the stormy seas of high-conflict shared custody situations. Dr. Carter de-mystifies concepts such as coparenting, parenting plans and provides guidance in managing common issues encountered in these complex, challenging situations. It distills and applies the best relevant social science research for parents and professionals alike. This is the book I'll refer parents to who ask the question, "Should I consider using a Parenting Coordinator?" Matthew J. Sullivan, PhD; Author of Overcoming the CoParenting Trap "There are two things that are extremely important for parents who are separating: they need the knowledge and child-focused tools to formulate their own parenting plan, and they need to have a process to minimize conflict as they move into the future. Debra Carter is contributing a valuable resource for these parents that gives them the practical and child-developmental tools to craft their customized plan, detailed and understandable information about the parenting coordination process which can help them work through serious conflict, and communication skills for keeping on track to avoid future problems. All of this is furnished in language the parents can absorb and identify with, and is underscored with real-life scenarios." Hugh E. Starnes, Senior Circuit Judge, Fort Myers, FL "CoParenting After Divorce is a clear and simple explanation of Parenting Coordination, as well as a helpful step-by-step guide for separated parents navigating issues from infants to the terrible 2's through older teens. I really liked comparing the Parenting Coordinator to a GPS system that helps the parents stay on course -- to reach a positive destination for their child(ren). Carter provides lots of research, many examples of parents overcoming conflict, and an abundance of hope. She really knows her stuff! I recommend this book as a helpful introduction to Parenting Coordination for any parent -- and professional!" Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq., President of High Conflict Institute. He is the author of several books, including It's All Your Fault: 12 Tips for Managing People Who Blame Others for Everything. "Dr. Carter's Guidance for Parenting System gives parents a clear road map for navigating to the most important destination: healthy children. This clear, concise guide spells out proven ways to reduce conflict and keep children's needs a top priority. This book is a 'must have' for divorcing parents". JoAnne Pedro-Carroll, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist and Child Specialist; Author, Putting Children First: Proven Parenting Strategies for Helping Children Tthrive Through Divorce. "One of Dr. Carter's unique gifts is her ability to weed through voluminous research literatures to identify, sort out, and communicate only the most important concepts -- in a way that anyone can digest and understand. The "GPS" concept of this book is an apt and perfect metaphor for how she serves us all by illuminating the most productive paths. Parents will find great value in this book; it is a straightforward and eye-opening but "easy" read. In my view, a terrific and much-needed contribution!" Jamie McHale, Ph.D. Director, Family Study Center, University of South Florida

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