20130606-130418.jpg The German Family law system is outpacing that of the US in forming a non adversarial model of custodial arrangements not eliminating one over the other. “Both are the parents. One is no better than the other.”

The consequences for the children in highly conflicted-ridden families is enormous for all family members, including grandparents who are now covered by German law. The German Family law system upholds the rights of all family members.

“We know that the easy way out for parents is to put their children in therapy.” The parents are afraid of the children’s reactions. While children adjust to the most difficult scenarios, it is not appropriate to pathologize the need to be nurtured. “Painting one parent black is to paint one half of the child as black.” Development of externalizing behaviors is directly related to divorce. It leads to aggressive acts of violence, loss of affects and delinquency.

At the Association of Family Conciliatory Courts conference last week in Los Angeles that I attended last week, Ursula Kodjoe & Roisin O’Shea presented a thoughtful, compassionate, and scientific investigation on how a collaborative, non adversarial model can work for families facing custody issues. Financial issues are resolved outside of the child issues, and kept separate. Both parents are expected to be equally involved with their children, no ‘ifs ands or buts’. This model has spread throughout Europe, and is benefiting the court system in streamlining and supporting a course of reunification, not dividing families.