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co-parenting counseling - good or bad?

sacto_madre's picture

My fiance just completed custody mediation for the second time - to formalize and informal visitation arrangement - whcih the BM lied about the amount of time we have SS. This is just to avoid losing child support. So on that note, the mediators report, the court ordered both bio parents to attend co-parenting sessions - together or apart. They agreed to go together. Now I have issues about them going together - because BM still wants him back and anything she can do to exclude me from being involved with SS is her ideal goal.

Fiances attorney indicated (on the side) that I (SM) would be required to attend these sessions with BM and fiance on or about the 3rd session since I am considered a co-parent - cohabitating with fiance and involved in SS life. Now fiance is getting ready to schedule the sessions.

Knowing that BM does not know that I would be included - If I was in BM position - I would rather know ahead of time that the new fiance would be included in the joint sessions - so there are no surprises. Is it right for DF to with hold this information from BM? He is with holding because BM would not go to sessions if she was aware that I would be involved.

From my understanding - the co-parenting sessions are to help both parents learn how to deal with each other in a business like manner when it comes to addressing care and raising of SS and to take the emotions out of the interaction.

Is this true - do the co=parenting classes usually involve other parties? Shouldnt the BM know that the new fiance is going to be brought in to give her the option of attending those sessions or not?

Any help is appreciated...


papergirl31128's picture

I would let the counseling take its course- if she throws a fit at the mention of you going then you have witnesses and it is not your fiance telling her- Usually with counseling (from my experience) they give you an agenda- so it would probably be better to have the counselor tell her then she could answer any questions or just have it documented how she acted.( say in case she refuses to come back or to continue which would look good for you) Just my thoughts.
If she has acted like an A&& in the past this will be one way for her to hang herself so to speak.
Another thought- did she have a lawyer- if so then it is her lawyer's responsiblity to give her that information

sacto_madre's picture

Yes - she got an attorney at the last minute. BM puts on one face in front of people that she is this perfect mother and only cares about the child - and then another when in private - thats why she doesnt want to do anythin via email or in writing. She would rather use the phone to call up and be verbally abusive/abrasive/ accustatory and lay blame on everyone else. I am not looking forward to the co-parenting because I dont think it will do any good for her. And personally, she calls me names when she is talking to finace which I have heard her. I just dont have a lot of faith in dealing with her that she will change.

I agree it would be her lawyers respons to notify her...but I think at the end of the court sessions - both attorneys were glad to see her go and really got a good understanding of what she was all about - and that is the money for spousal sup and child sup and trying desperately not to lose it no matter what it cost.

OldTimer's picture

discretion or the lawyers. If she hasn't been informed by now, than there must be another reason. It could be that she has a potential 'flight' risk, and therefore, it hasn't been disclosed to her yet but will in all due time. Sometimes time frames get lengthen if there are issues involved and progress isn't made or seen and the time isn't ready yet, so I would leave it to the counselors or lawyers. They are the mediators in this case anyway, so I'd leave it be for now.

And yes, if there is a partner, and since you are engaged, obviously you'll be married and be a solid fixture in your SS's life- I mean, you don't plan on getting married and living in separate houses do you? LOL, couples who are cohabiting for long term basis, than yes co parenting issues will include other parties. Not all cases will, but there are many that do. In your case, it could be how she is responding to you. Is she hostile toward you? Does she 'recognize' you as a SM? etc. If she has issues with DF, than she's most certain to have issues with you as well, or that you could be the means for which they communicate to each other. In that case, you're the one in the middle, so the co parenting can provide tools for everyone to use in your situation.

Wink StepMom

Man has the intelligence to change his life,
Sometimes, he just fails to use it...

Krissy's picture

STBX and BB have been going to co-parenting counseling for about 6 months. It's my opinion that this counselor is a money-grubbing asshole because these sessions are $275 a pop and he has claimed to them that they cannot cease attending until he feels that they have made advancement. If I were either of them, I'd have called my lawyer long ago and put a stop to this. I can see one or two sessions, but this long and this amount of money? It reaks of unethical practice to me.

A funny little note--I was in the courtroom when the judge ordered this. And I am 100% positive that she ordered co-parenting CLASS, which is also offered at this center that they went to be referred to a counselor. I told STBX this and he swore I was wrong, but I know he heard it too and I believed that he wanted to see BB and spend time talking to her face to face. I had the same misgivings about WHY this was going on, why they went together, etc., but in the end regardless of what I believed, it really was just a bitchfest for both of them. Nothing has really changed.

If the judge didn't put in the order that you are to be there, I'd skip it for now. Honestly...maybe it would be better to let DH go and see how it is. I realize that it's a sore spot, but if they can make progress with just the two of them, that might be most beneficial in the end. Any progress might be damaged if she freaks that you're there, you know? Or maybe DH can mention it to her--make sure he says that the judge made the suggestion--and see how it flies.

Good luck. I'm sure it will work out just fine. Smile

Mocha2001's picture

Good advice on this page ... let the counseling take its course. You and your DH could meet with the counselor first where you could express your concerns, you could find out her plan, and then she knows what is going on. I can relate to your concerns ...

I just completed a co-parenting seminar for my work. It is all about teaching the parties to communicate with each other in a business like way. It teaches them to keep their personal feelings (anger, hatred, money, jelousy, etc.) out of it and focus on the children and what they need. It really is a great program. we are trying to get BM to participate - yeah, right ... you and DH will learn a lot, and in the end, it just might make your life as SM and wife much easier. And yes, usually the SO (especially in the finance arena) is usually included. She can bitch all she wants ... it isn't up to her, it's up to the counselor.

~ Katrina