Good morning everyone. Today is Monday, March 30th. It’s approximately 10:00 AM. today is our daily webinar concerning the Clovis 19 pandemic and the current shuttle,shelter in place. Orders today you’re joined as usual by the family law legal panelalong with Lynn Waldman and I want you to use her in just a moment. but for those ofyou who are joining us, please make sure that you send us your questions. Today’stopics again, concerning custody, and the questions and issues that time and timeagain, we’re running into. please do me a favor. Keep in mind that this, recording isbeing posted on all of our social media websites. And if you don’t get a chance tojoin because of work or some other personal obligation, you’ll have an opportunity tolisten to it. And with that said, Gina, I’m going to start with you. Let’s do a briefintroduction please.
SPEAKER 2 00:56 – 01:09
Hi, I’m Gina I am a family law attorney and a partner at family law matters. I’ve been practicing for 23 years, this may nine years in orange County and 13 years in Riverside.
SPEAKER 1 01:09 – 01:12
Thank you. Gina, Colleen, you’re up next.
SPEAKER 3 01:12 – 01:22
Good morning everyone. My name is Colleen Robinson. I’m a family law attorney here at family law matters. I’ve been an attorney for 10 years practicing all over Southern California.
SPEAKER 1 01:23 – 01:24
Thank you for calling Christie
SPEAKER 2 01:26 – 01:45
everyone. My name is Christie bergamot. I’m a senior attorney here at family law matters. I’ve been practicing 17 years. I also am, have been certified to be minor’s counsel in the courts and I just want to welcome everybody and I hope everyone’s doing well and they’re safe and healthy.
SPEAKER 1 01:45 – 02:01
Thank you Christie and Lynn, I’m going to give you a brief intro and I’m sure you do a lot more. So I’m going to give you an opportunity to tell the what you do. So Lynn is the owner and clinical director of the San Diego divorce counseling center. tell us a little bit more about yourself.
SPEAKER 2 02:02 – 02:37
Well, I’ve been working with clients going through divorce and having custody dispute 2005. So I was a former family court counselor and I’ve been in private practice since 2014. so we therapy divorced, elaborative divorce, parent coordination for parents that continue to have difficulty getting along post judgment and and co-parenting counseling. So everything in the divorce arena and, and co-parenting is our specialty.
SPEAKER 1 02:38 – 02:43
Thank you, Lynn. So Lynn, what are you seeing right now with everything that’s going on around us
SPEAKER 2 02:44 – 03:35
Well, a lot of stress, a lot of unknowns. Co-parents that are having difficulty understanding, how they should continue to follow their parenting plan when they have really extreme worries about the virus. It’s out there, their possible to it. you know, just difficulty making decisions together. If you had difficulty co-parenting before, it’s even more difficult now. Clients also having difficulty finding access to resources, therapists now online as we are. So we’re continuing to connect with our clients virtually just like this. And, there’s even something positive about it that now we can actually see our clients in their homes, which is really nice. It helps that connection.
SPEAKER 1 03:35 – 03:39
Thank you, Lynn. So Lynn, you have a special,
SPEAKER 2 03:40 – 03:41
what’s the word,
SPEAKER 1 03:42 – 03:48
insight as to the children. What sorts of concerns are you hearing from the children
SPEAKER 2 03:49 – 05:00
You know, I hear, I hear about the kids’ concerns through their parents that, well, first of all, there’s a lot of disappointment. They don’t get to see their friends. Their routines are completely disrupted activities that they enjoy, they can no longer do. I know, you know, we usually hear about those really busy soccer moms or soccer dads that they’re running from game to game or activity to activity. And people’s lives were so harried and now it’s kind of like everything’s come to this screeching halt and nobody knows when things are going to get better, when they can get back to their lives. So it’s, it’s just all this unknown being anxiety of being home all the time, all together, trying to find new things to do and different ways to connect. and just the stress for the kids of, you know, not really understanding what’s happening and their parents struggling with how much information should we give the kids. You know, obviously we’re all in this unchartered territory.
SPEAKER 1 05:01 – 05:09
So are you hearing any concerns about the children getting sick or about sickness concerns from the children
SPEAKER 2 05:09 – 05:55
Absolutely. Especially now as there have been some children who unfortunately have gotten sick and you know, unfortunately there has been a death of an of an infant. So no before, when it looks like it was just senior citizens, I think for so many people they felt like maybe they had this some kind of immunity or it wasn’t going to be them. And I think younger people anyway don’t really realize that this could happen to me. but children, yes, they are worried and it’s this invisible thing that’s out there that, you know, how do you protect yourself against something that’s invisible So children are worried and there are a lot of fears for younger kids.
SPEAKER 1 05:56 – 05:59
And with these concerns
SPEAKER 4 05:59 – 06:08
out there and these fears, do you have any tips on how parents should be speaking to their kids about the school closures, about the virus itself
SPEAKER 2 06:09 – 07:23
You know, the best thing to do is to be honest and tell the children the truth, that this is something unique. You’ve never really experienced something to this extreme in this level and you want to give them information that they can use and that matters to them. And it’s relative to them. And I think it’s important for mom and dad to let kids know you’re going to do everything within your power to keep them safe. And I think it’s a good idea to ask kids what are they feeling, what are they thinking And it’s also really important for parents to understand it’s okay if they don’t have all the answers because none of us have all the answers, especially with this. But I think the important thing is to just give that space where kids can talk about their difficult thoughts and feelings and without mom and dad feeling like they need to have the correct answer, it’s, I think it’s okay to say, you know, I don’t know it’s going to happen. You know, I don’t know, sweetie, what’s going to happen And, but just giving them that space to talk about their difficult thoughts and feelings. It’s just like,
SPEAKER 2 07:25 – 08:18
you know, with us as adults, we just need to talk about it and just express it. No difficult emotions. Emotion is energy that moves through us. And the more we’re able to process and talk about it, it’ll move through us. And then we can focus on something else. And I think it’s a good idea to give them that opportunity to talk about their thoughts and feelings and then move on to an activity. Distract distraction is a coping skill that when something’s difficult for us, we need to be able to get ourselves out of that mindset. You don’t want to have these ruminating thoughts over and over, so certainly distract with the puzzle book, with another activity, cooking or baking with your kids, with online play dates, you know, giving them something to look forward to.
SPEAKER 1 08:20 – 08:23
And are you observing more custody disputes during this time
SPEAKER 2 08:24 – 09:25
I am. I’ve seen so much written online in the past couple of weeks about parents who don’t know what to do. They’re worried about they’ll be exposed, their children will be exposed. They don’t know what happens at the other house. if no one, if the other parent or the other parents spouse is a healthcare worker, that brings up lots of concerns. so yeah, if I’m noticing a lot of, you know, disagreements and worry and people just fraught with not wanting to be exposed. And not knowing what’s going on in the other household and that’s just creating so many co-parenting difficulties and then people who are ready had co-parenting difficulties. This is just exacerbating for moms and dads that couldn’t communicate before or had extreme difficulty with it. This just compounds. It makes it so much more difficult.
SPEAKER 1 09:26 – 09:32
And are the concerns that you’re hearing the different from cost, custodial parents versus noncustodial parents
SPEAKER 2 09:34 – 09:59
Well, I think it goes both ways. of custodial parents wanting to limit the noncustodial parents access because sometimes they want to be protective of the child. you know, in coast custodial parents feeling marginalized or maybe left out of decision making or not knowing what’s going on or worried that they’re going to lose time with the child or children.
SPEAKER 1 10:01 – 10:13
Okay. And then, Colleen, I’m going to ask you to chime in here. You obviously are, you have a caseload, you’re speaking with clients daily. What sorts of custody concerns are you hearing
SPEAKER 3 10:14 – 11:02
Well, I think Lynn was, was discussing that too. It’s just that the, just you parents having all of these questions about, you know, whether or not the other parent is exposed, you, I have some sort of underlying health issue that I should keep the kids at home. I shouldn’t be out in public, but I’m concerned that if I go and tell the other parent that now I’m being difficult when that’s not my, my situation at all or my intentions. And I’m also hearing of parents or my dogs working, other parents being concerned that them receiving those messages that the other parents try and take advantage of this situation and that it’s not a true concern. But this is more or less like a custody grab.
SPEAKER 4 11:03 – 11:03
SPEAKER 1 11:04 – 11:08
And Lynn, do you have any projections on audit handle issues like that,
SPEAKER 2 11:10 – 11:35
that, that is, you know, so difficult. So what, you know, when I work with clients that have these, co-parenting difficulties, and of course now it’s being exacerbated by the pandemic, you know, I, I really want them to have a skillset that they can use even when we don’t have this pandemic going on. They need to be able to negotiate
SPEAKER 2 11:37 – 13:17
if they’re going to change the schedule. you know, one of the things that I like to teach people is, to be effective. We want you to be effective in your co-parenting, effective in decision making sometimes regardless of your difficult thoughts and feelings. So parents can have a tendency, not all parents, but some have a tendency to catastrophize. And I could see how we easily could in this situation imagine the worst and really I want parents to check the facts, come back to the facts of this situation. Look at where you are and what’s been going on and make decisions more based on your life and the facts rather than your emotions and your difficult thoughts about what’s going to happen. And in communicating with your co-parent, I like, I like parents to have protocols for how they’re going to communicate so that if they’re feeling emotional, they can put their emotions aside and send a factual email or have a factual discussion, it hopefully won’t devolve into making things worse. One of the things I recommend for people, and I’m sure you guys are all familiar with this, is Beth Beth is a book written by bill Eddy who happens to be in San Diego and you can find that book online. Fifth stands for brief, informative, friendly firm. And that’s the kind of email or communication that I would want co-parents to have.
SPEAKER 1 13:18 – 13:22
and can you give us an example of something like that of a, of a possible email
SPEAKER 2 13:23 – 14:11
or a communication protocol You’re so, let’s say mom is worried about exchanging the kids because you know, she’s had them this past week and things have gotten worse and she doesn’t know what’s going on at dad’s house. you know, I would want her to write to him and say, dear John, dear so and so, I’m worried about the pandemic and how we’re gonna work together and co-parenting the kids. please let me know what precautions you’re taking. This is what I’ve done at my house. I’m hoping that we can be on the same page. Please let me know if you have questions and what it will. You know, what do you think about going forward and how is our whole parenting going to be going forward You know, maybe asking for feedback
SPEAKER 1 14:13 – 14:17
and then you help negotiate between parents when there are safety concerns.
SPEAKER 2 14:18 – 15:03
I do, I help through co-parenting counseling or as a parent coordinator where I could make recommendations to mom and dad. And when I work with parents in my office, I give them even more specific skills on how to communicate. There’s an acronym I love, it’s called dear man and I can send this to you and clients can also Google it, but it’s basically, it’s just a protocol for asking for what you need in a way that other side that the other parent would hear you. so I mean I could go over it now or, or clients could look it up, but it’s,
SPEAKER 1 15:05 – 15:09
if you can just give us the brief synopsis of it. Cause that’s a great idea.
SPEAKER 2 15:09 – 16:29
So, dear man, D is, you’re describing the situation without blame. It’s almost like as if you’re looking at a picture, describe the situation with what’s going on. And it’s really important to keep it without blame. And this is something that I work on with clients cause it’s easy to get let that blame and judgment creeping. The E is expressing your thoughts, opinions, feelings about the situation. Again without blame and the AE is asking for what you want or asserting yourself the R’s, offering a reward. Like if we’re able to come up with a parenting plan that works, this is really going to help us both have an easier time getting through the pandemic. The M and man is maintaining your boundaries. You might get a lot of yes buts or what ifs. You can just repeat those three, those four things we just said that a is appearing confident. Even if you don’t feel it appear confident. It’s kind of like that. Fake it till you make it and the end is be willing to negotiate your, what the other parent is saying. They might have some great suggestions that you didn’t think of or could put your fears at ease. And I really, so I really love that. that acronym and it, it works well.
SPEAKER 1 16:31 – 16:33
Can you repeat the acronym one more time
SPEAKER 2 16:33 – 17:05
Sure. It’s dear man and the D is described the situation. He is express your thoughts, feelings, opinions about the situation. The a would be to ask for what you want or to assert yourself. The R is to offer a reward. The M is maintain boundaries, the a is appear confident and, and is be willing to negotiate.
SPEAKER 1 17:07 – 17:26
Awesome. Thank you for that. And then Christie, I want to bring you in here because you also have a special insight. You have the, you have the background of serving as minors council. So if a parent has legitimate health safety concerns, for the client or the child, what’s your position as minor’s counsel
SPEAKER 5 17:29 – 18:40
I think that Lynn described that situation appropriately. That you have to acknowledge the fear of the child, what’s going on from the child’s perspective. And I think as parents, you know, we need to put our differences or our concerns, not we can still have them, but we have to strike an appropriate balance between, you know, our, our fears, our concerns. I brought up and I brought this up before. I mean there’s a financial aspect to this situation going on. It is not just about the illness coven, it is what it’s done and how it’s impacted families financially. And I think that obviously your child is hearing your concerns about money and it just adds to this already laundry list of issues and worries. And I think from, from an attorney for chill child perspective, they are like sponges. They S they hear everything, they absorb everything.
SPEAKER 5 18:40 – 19:23
And I think this is a time where the parents need to really be mindful because your children are around you now at all times. You need to, if you’re talking about something that you’re really worried about, you know, maybe you take a walk and talk to whoever your confidant is on your cell phone or whatever it is that you’re doing. But I think we really need to be mindful of what the children are absorbing and what they’re experiencing. And I think Lynn gave great tools for that. and I think that we need to all be mindful of that. So it was more of a comment than a question.
SPEAKER 1 19:23 – 19:32
Well, here’s the follow up question I have for you. What tips do you have for parents to discuss the financial fears with their children when they’ve lost their job
SPEAKER 5 19:36 – 19:37
Are you asking me or Lynn
SPEAKER 1 19:39 – 19:41
and then Glenn, I’ll ask you to also chime in.
SPEAKER 5 19:41 – 20:32
Okay. That there is hope that we’re all in this together, that even the government is stepping in to help, that we will figure it out. You know, that that’s what they need to hear. And I don’t think that, you know, that’s being misleading. I think there is hope. It’s amazing. My father was born in the depression, so he’s had a lot of insight to me about what they went through and how they all work together, how they, how families became so close, you know, and something this, something like this. So I think they need to hear that. It’s going to be okay. I really do. And it will be. It will.
SPEAKER 1 20:32 – 20:33
Thank you. Christie. Lynn.
SPEAKER 5 20:34 – 20:48
Yes. And I would follow along those same lines that, you know, mom and dad are here for you. We’re going to protect you and this too shall pass. And I really like what Christy was saying is that look for silver lining in
SPEAKER 2 20:48 – 21:27
this, you know, maybe you have the opportunity now to really spend more time with your kids that you were missing out on that time. so, so look for the silver linings and and I, you know, think that it’s best not to give them, you want to think is this adult information that I’m giving my kids You don’t want to give them any kind of adult or you know, court information about your parenting plan. We want to protect them from that and let them know that as much as possible things are going to continue as they were, that their foundation is solid and it’s solid because mom and dad are solid.
SPEAKER 1 21:29 – 21:37
To dig a little bit more into that, Lynn, what effect does placing the adult concerns have on the children regarding their longterm mental health
SPEAKER 2 21:39 – 22:16
You know, it scares them. It makes them anxious. It puts them in the role of guaranteeing mom and dad and helping mom and dad regulate their emotions. And that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. Mom and dad are there to help the children tolerate distress and to teach the kids how to moderate and regulate their emotions. So it causes trauma to the kids unnecessarily. And, you know, we, we don’t want to do that. We don’t want to, to have them feel that kind of worry and stress when honestly this will pass.
SPEAKER 1 22:17 – 22:27
Thank you Lynn. Now I know also that you’ve been busy. So what resources, and services do you offer to help clients through this
SPEAKER 2 22:28 – 23:45
So, my clinic, my therapist and I, any enough had a brainstorming session yesterday thinking what can we do to help people through this pandemic. and so we came up with some groups that were going to be offering for free online and each group is going to be about three or four weeks. The first one that we’re going to start is hope parenting through the pandemic. we are going to talk about communication skills out. Can you support your co-parent, and how to effectively ask for what you need and for what you want. another group we thought of is providing the pandemic with your soon to be ex spouse. I’ve heard that divorce rates are going way up when, when after parents have had to spend all this time together. So we want it to be easier for you. If you were considering divorce before or you are now, how can you survive this difficult situation when you’re stuck in a house with somebody that you’re thinking you might not want to be married to for much longer so that’s our other group. And then we did think about coming up with a group for
SPEAKER 2 23:46 – 23:53
aiding during the pandemic. What is dating going to look like, you know, during, and after this pandemic.
SPEAKER 3 23:54 – 23:56
How are you seeing people online
SPEAKER 6 23:58 – 24:02
I agreed a hundred percent. Do you have any reasons,
SPEAKER 1 24:02 – 24:05
sources, well, let me rephrase right now. The courts are closed.
SPEAKER 6 24:06 – 24:08
SPEAKER 1 24:09 – 24:19
special background. You worked as a mediator in the courts. Are you offering any services right now to privately mediate between parties when they’re safety concerns during the pandemic
SPEAKER 2 24:20 – 24:28
Yes. I’m still, I’m still offering, mediation, go parenting during the pandemic.
SPEAKER 6 24:29 – 24:30
SPEAKER 2 24:30 – 24:40
Yeah, we are. We’re still doing that. And I, and another therapist in my practice are both qualified to do that offer mediation and it can be,
SPEAKER 6 24:40 – 24:41
SPEAKER 2 24:42 – 24:48
Private mediation or even when the court does open a mediation with a recommendation to court.
SPEAKER 1 24:49 – 24:53
Awesome. Thank you. And then, Colleen, I’m going to ask you a question here.
SPEAKER 6 24:53 – 24:55
Lynn said that
SPEAKER 1 24:57 – 25:06
that the party should look for a silver lining in the crisis. What sort of things have you seen come out of this crisis through your clients
SPEAKER 3 25:06 – 26:09
Good, thanks. well I think some, just some of the creative ways that people are looking to still like keep communication and their relationships online, I guess converting it online, or just figuring out how to still have contact with each other. With all this going on. I’ve seen, not necessarily in my clients, but just a bigger, bigger picture. What’s also going out, going on in the outside world is just how are we still going to stay connected One another No, we can’t see each other or be physically with one another. and, reading stories to each other might mother-in-law who is, she’s 63 I believe, or maybe she’s alert enough, but she’s considered compromised immunity. So she calls my kids, we try, and she reads the night time stories. cause she, she, it kills her that she can’t see my, see her grandkids.
SPEAKER 3 26:09 – 26:59
So she’s, we’re trying to figure out different ways that we can all still keep our really, you know, keep our relationships and be creative with that. And so it does not what people are doing for one another right now. It just, it just blows my mind. I’m like, there’s neighborhood scavenger hunts for people taking walks and people putting things in their windows for the children and keeping positivity and checking in with one another. I just think that trying to put our differences aside right now and figuring out what do we all need this to get through this. that’s what I’ve been seeing. I, that’s the point I’m trying to make with all my clients as well, is we gotta take a step above all of this and look at the bigger picture. And what we can do for our kids and what they need from us.
SPEAKER 1 26:60 – 27:03
Thank you for calling. Gina, I’m going to ask you, I’m in here.
SPEAKER 2 27:04 – 27:04
SPEAKER 1 27:04 – 27:11
If people have safety concerns regarding visitation, can you see people virtually to help them solve their problems
SPEAKER 2 27:13 – 27:14
SPEAKER 2 27:15 – 28:15
You’re asking me yes ma’am. Yes, absolutely. We can see people virtually. We have a full staff and we are up and running and we can do things. So what we’re suggesting is if you have a legitimate safety concern, SIM, very similar to what Lynn said is you need to number one, voice it. Number two, you need to try to get an agreement, a written agreement to protect the child, to protect the child, but also to protect the household because a lot of people have elderly people in their home. A lot of people have compromised health wise people in their home, immune compromised. As Lin indicated, many people are first responders or healthcare workers who were at high risk for this. The hope would be that the parents would be able to reach an agreement that would allow them to work together. Maybe there would be some deferral of visitation.
SPEAKER 2 28:15 – 29:19
Maybe there would be, some visitation in Publix, like a park or something so that there could still be visitation if for some reason it needed to be interrupted. But if parties are going to in any way change visitation, they need to file court documents, the better solution would be to elicit the help of someone like Lenz who can get both parties on their phone and negotiate an agreement that is child centered because really that’s what this is about is protecting the health of the public. The entire country here is that at stake, protecting the health of the household and protecting the health of the child. And hopefully parents will be able to do that on their own. If they can’t, the next level would be to do this through the help of a mediator. If they can’t, then the, the last resort would be to do this through the help of an attorney. Courts are always a last resort.
SPEAKER 1 29:20 – 29:26
Thank you. Gina and Christie as a minor’s counsel, would you like to add any comments or observations
SPEAKER 3 29:28 – 29:41
Well, I, again, I reiterate that, you know, we all have our concerns and worries, but I think Lynn would attest to this. I’ve seen children that have grown up in
SPEAKER 5 29:42 – 30:53
with a lot of tragedy and they are absolutely maintained. They are healthy functioning children. And so it really, it really is all about the parents and how they choose to parent their child. And I think Lynn could agree with me there that, you know, I’ve seen children that are raised in the most affluent of environments that have all of the, you know, financial security in the world and they’re, they’re not, they’re not, they’re not healthy mentally. So I just think it starts with the parents because, you know, in the affluent area that parents are all full of acrimony and, bitter custody battles and things of that nature. so I, I just, I implore our clients, all the parents that would listen to this just to remember, just to remember who’s sitting next to you, you know, and, and be mindful of your speech and your behavior and, you know, just be limited on, on the exposure of your crisis. To your child.
SPEAKER 2 30:55 – 30:57
And Christie, on that note, do you have any questions for Lynn
SPEAKER 5 30:57 – 31:11
I do actually. Lynn, when you do these mediations, do you ever do it when there’s an their attorneys involved, like say for instance, whereas yours purely on like a therapeutic
SPEAKER 2 31:13 – 32:16
No, it’s, it’s when attorneys, it could be both. It’s when attorneys are involved and I’ve been appointed by the court as their child custody recommending counselor, usually in lieu of family court services. And I can also in have also done it privately when there’s no attorneys involved and there would be no recommendation to court. And then they’re just working with me just to come up with a parenting plan. And then usually, if they have a mediator they’ll send or I’ll send their parenting plan to the mediator and then that will be put in their marital settlement agreement. Thank you Christie. Thank you, Lynn. Colleen, do you have any questions for Lynn Well, let me see. I think, one of the questions I had written down here is just if you could go over some of the, the toolbox. I know that you said in your mediations you kind of go over this and maybe you train people, a little bit more, but I know like negotiate, if you could reiterate those again, I think that would be helpful.
SPEAKER 2 32:16 – 33:14
Yeah, go ahead. So, so I love teaching people skills cause it’s one thing to come in and talk about the problem, but then if you leave and you don’t know how to do anything differently, nothing’s going to change. So what I really like to start off teaching people is besides deer man, cause that’s a great protocol for how you’re going to ask for something or talk to someone. one of the things I teach people is wise mind because we all have a wise mind. So we actually have three States of mind. We have emotion mind which could be hot and easily upset and get us into trouble. And then we have reasonable mind, which could be without empathy and maybe too pedantic, but where there, those two intersect is where we have our wise mind. And I really want moms and dads to be in their wise mind when they’re making decisions or thinking about something that’s difficult.
SPEAKER 2 33:14 – 34:19
Like or if they’re having a catastrophizing, Oh I want them to check in with their wise mind to say, you know, is my catastrophizing thought accurate Maybe part of it is accurate. So, but you have to be able to get to wise mind. And one way to do that. As you breathe in wise through your nose, when you breathe out mind through your mouth, you do that several times. You read them wise mind and then you ask yourself, what is my wise mind telling me about whatever the question is. And you wait for the answer to come to you. You don’t give yourself the answer, it comes to you like a whisper. And if you don’t get an answer, try it again later. And there’s other ways to get to wise mind. But I particularly like that one. That one works for me. so, so I do want clients as much as possible to remember to check in with their wise mind before they send an email before they have a discussion.
SPEAKER 2 34:20 – 35:31
So that’s, that’s one of my favorite skills. And I’ll give you one more that I really love called opposite action. So you know, during this time, clearly people could be very stressed out and very emotional. And so again, we need to check in with your wise mind. And opposite action is, for example, you might feel like sending off that single spaced five page email that you’re really upset about something. I want you to do the opposite. So instead of sending off that email, I want you to not, I want you to use a bef email or for example, you know, you might be angry and feel like yelling at someone. Opposite action is instead I want you to become curious and ask questions. Or instead of getting angry or your voice, he can assault points. Because if we do the opposite of what we feel, we will start to feel that opposite yelling, which is going to be more productive and more effective to get you to where you want to be as co-parent.
SPEAKER 2 35:32 – 36:37
Thank you for that Lynn. And thank you for calling for the question. Gina, it’s my understanding. You have a question. Yes. Lynn, you perked my ears up when you said that you can recommend to the courts mediate custody agreements. So if I’m hearing you correctly and the courts are closed and there’s a custody dispute right now, we can stipulate with opposing counsel to appoint you as child custody recommending counselor and you can actually make a recommendation to the court in lieu of the courts mediators. I believe that’s correct. So I like when I like to leave the legal realm to you guys, but for example, I have a case now and with the court closed, I think the attorney it go in ex parte to get me appointed. I’m not sure how that happens. but I mean I, you guys would know better than me, I think that you could stipulate to use me.
SPEAKER 2 36:38 – 38:45
But you know, do that then I certainly could. That sounds like a wonderful solution because we received a court date the other day that was in like near October and by then hopefully God willing, the pandemic will be over, the crisis will be over. But we’re hearing, you know, the gamut. We’re hearing people with legitimate safety concerns, everything from children with cancer undergoing chemotherapy with cancer, compromised, immune compromised and of course people trying to get one one up on the other and we need a way to help solve this outside of necessarily be nice. Do mediation agree kumbaya. Not everybody’s going to agree. Right. So that would be a wonderful alternative for us. Can you talk a little bit about the longterm mental health effects that acrimony has between the parents when they’re, it’s a high conflict custody case. Yes. Because what typically happens is the children are in the middle, a one parent or the other maybe trying to get the child to align with him or her and you know, the kids are part of both of you. So that that makes the children question their identity. And Pramod is when the children don’t have a good sense of self or self image or their identity in some way is compromised and children will grow up. not being able to have, positive relationships in the future. They grew up with depression and anxiety. They doubt themselves. They don’t know if they can trust their own thoughts or feelings and it just creates so many problems with how they’re going to live their life in the future. It’s, it’s, it’s trauma.
SPEAKER 1 38:48 – 39:03
Excuse me. I did receive a question from a participant in Gina. I want you to chime in on this just for clarification purposes. the question reads, so are we advising the clients to ignore the safer at home order and continue a visitation
SPEAKER 2 39:05 – 40:12
there The problem is, is nobody knows what the effect of safer at home is on a visitation schedule. What we are offering, what we are recommending is that if parents have safety concerns that they reach out to the other side, that they attempt to negotiate some sort of a resolution outside, which would be, Hey, can we, both self quarantine for 14 days before we send the child back and forth Can you let me know what’s going on in your home Whatever the concerns are addressed, the concerns with the other side, if the concerns are legitimate, try to reach a written resolution concerning those concerns. Because again, it’s not just the child. We, we learned in one of our podcasts that children are high risk carriers and by going back and forth, if they’re asymptomatic, they could be risking everybody in the household, especially if there’s an immune compromised people in the household.
SPEAKER 2 40:12 – 40:55
So it’s not just about the child, it’s about the household. Point is, is communicate number one. Number two, try to reach an agreement in writing. Number three, if you cannot reach an agreement in writing, file a request for order. Number four, if there is some reason why one of the parents feels that they’re, they need to withhold the child for legitimate safety concerns. They need to offer makeup time and unfettered access to the child. Do everything you can to try to keep the visitation open, even if it’s a modified visitation schedule. That is what we’re advising.
SPEAKER 1 40:55 – 40:58
Thank you Gina. And is there a difference if the visitations are supervised
SPEAKER 2 40:59 – 41:12
Well, visitation supervised, then obviously it’s up to this monitor because the monitor may not want to be exposed to a co did 19
SPEAKER 1 41:13 – 41:16
thank you. And then Christie as a minor’s council.
SPEAKER 4 41:17 – 41:17
SPEAKER 1 41:17 – 41:19
Do you have anything to add to that
SPEAKER 2 41:20 – 41:22
And let me go ahead and just unmute
SPEAKER 1 41:27 – 41:28
Christie, I think you have yourself muted.
SPEAKER 2 41:31 – 41:34
No, I don’t know how I did that. As much
SPEAKER 5 41:34 – 43:17
as I like to talk. I don’t know why I would do that anyway. as minors counsel, I just would again reiterate and I think Lynn did a really good job of explaining the, the longterm impacts to parents, parents, failure to cooperate with one another. Parents failure to, to co-parent, to be mindful of your child and what their needs are. And I would say also that, you know, we, we need to assess these issues and concerns not only of our clients but potential clients, people who, who want to reach out to us. We need to assess their particular situations on a case by case basis. you know, we can, we can go through and find out first what the fears are. You know, how we can handle it. We’re just, we’re here to help you. And again, I know everybody’s going through their own stress situation, you know, and we all need to focus not only on our own self care because if we look positive, if we feel positive, if we exert positivity, then your children are going to follow suit with that. And it’s really on you to, express. Not only you can have concerns, you can talk about your fears, but what Lynn said, it needs to pass through you. You need to keep going forward and be, look at the bright side of things that are going on right now because your children need to see that from you.
SPEAKER 1 43:17 – 43:20
Thank you. Christine. Lynn, would you like to add anything
SPEAKER 5 43:21 – 43:30
No, I mean that was really well said. It’s yeah, the kids are going to take their cues from mom and dad. So just keep that in mind.
SPEAKER 1 43:30 – 43:35
Thank you. Lynn. Colleen, anything to add regarding the safer at home order
SPEAKER 3 43:36 – 44:13
no, other than I, what I really also liked what Lynn said and what Christina was just saying is I think we can all just kind of fake it till we make it when we were trying to figure out how to behave with our kids and even if it’s a little unnatural to beat that positive, I think that’s kind of need they need that we all need just to be a little extra positive right now. And you’d be surprised, at least in my own personal experiences, when you start doing that, you actually start feeling that even though if you’re faking it to begin with and it does impact the way you carry yourself. And how you communicate with everybody else. So I really appreciate that.
SPEAKER 1 44:14 – 44:47
Thank you Coleen. And there’s one more question that I just want to highlight. I’m not going to answer it cause it’s not on the topic and it’s concerning support. So I think it was sent by Dave and Dave, I’m going to ask that you actually schedule a, a consultation just so we can give you a better direction. I don’t think we can address right now. just pick as our topic focus today is custody. So please again, just call our office and we’ll get that question answered for you. is there anything that we did not ask you Lynn
SPEAKER 2 44:49 – 45:11
No, I feel like we’ve covered everything really well. If you guys have questions, please feel free to email me later. or if any of the participants have questions, you know, please feel free to reach out. my website is divorce counseling center.com and I’d be happy to, to answer any questions.
SPEAKER 1 45:11 – 45:17
And is there any phone number or email that they can email you or call you at directly
SPEAKER 2 45:17 – 45:32
My email address is Lynn, L Y N N. At worst counseling center.com. And my phone number is (619) 865-3203.
SPEAKER 1 45:32 – 45:37
Perfect. And then Lynn, what services do you offer just so the participants are aware
SPEAKER 2 45:38 – 46:09
counseling therapy, divorce coaching or parenting counseling. we do mediation, private mediation, with recommendations to court or confidential. and we are going to be starting some free groups. So anybody that’s interested in a group on parenting and surviving the pandemic with your seem to be expelled, we would be happy to hear from you.
SPEAKER 1 46:09 – 46:15
Thank you. And then the last thing that you mentioned early on is that you have resources. What resources can you give our participants
SPEAKER 2 46:16 – 46:34
we have resources for, we’ll, we’ll those groups, first of all would be some of our resources also. some of the skills I mentioned. I’d be happy to send some worksheets for how you can use those skills.
SPEAKER 1 46:36 – 47:25
Perfect. Thank you again, Lynn, for taking time out of your day. I want to thank thelegal panel one more time and the participants for taking the time out of the day tojoin us. Tomorrow’s topic. my understanding is going to address the issue of supportagain, just to give and highlight, the resources and the options that ourparticipants have or that the public has in general addressing those issues. Lynn,once again, thank you so much for taking time out of your day. I know you’ve been busyand I do want to thank Christy and Gina and Colleen and, that’s it for that. I thinkwe’ve addressed all of the questions. The podcast will be posted online. Lynn, if youneed a copy of it, just send me an email and I’ll go ahead and send it to you so youcan share it with, your clients and God bless us all.
SPEAKER 2 47:25 – 47:27
Thank you. Thank you. Bye.