Brian Jacobs


Co-Parenting Services

Co-Parent Counseling / Parenting Plan

Keeping your children’s best interests in focus and continuing to nurture their healthy development during separation or divorce is an achievable goal that often requires help from a co-parent counselor.

What is Co-Parenting Counseling?

Co-parent counseling is an effective way to assist separated or divorced parents to keep communication about child-related issues respectful and constructive.  Goals of co-parent counseling often include: shielding children from the damaging effects of open parent conflict; providing consistency and flexibility in both homes, supporting children through common developmental challenges; clarification of expectations, discipline, and routines; reducing stress on children; and supporting children’s love for both parents.

As a co-parent counselor I provide a safe, supportive, and child-focused atmosphere in order to ensure that the best interests of your child or children are being thoughtfully addressed.  I bring together my expertise related to child development, parenting strategies, and separation- and divorce-specific challenges in my work as a co-parent counselor in order to assist you in parenting most effectively during this challenging time.

Special attention is given to avoid any development of parental alienation.

What is a Parenting Plan?

Often an outcome of co-parenting is a Parenting Plan. The California Courts web site defines a parenting plan as:

A parenting plan, also called a «custody and visitation agreement,» is the parents' written agreement about:

  • Time-share: A schedule for when the children will be with each parent; and
  • Decision-making: How the parents will make decisions about the health, education, and welfare of the children.

With a written plan, you and your children will know what to expect and will have fewer conflicts about shared parenting time.

Your parenting plan becomes a court order after it is signed by both of you, signed by the judge, and filed with the court.  Make a parenting plan that is in the best interest of your children. Do not fight over custody and visitation schedules, the children will usually do much better. Change is hard for children.

Some Things to Consider About a Parenting Plan

Meet your children's basic needs for:

  • Provide love, protection, and guidance.
  • Provide a healthy environment: quality diet, medical care, and sufficient rest.
  • Consider your children's ages, personalities, experiences, and abilities. Every child is different. Adjust your plan to your children, NOT your children to your plan.
  • Give your children consistent times with each of you for day-to-day care, overnights, activities, schoolwork, vacations, and holidays. Use a calendar to help you.
  • Give your plan enough detail so it is easy to understand and enforce.
  • Give your children a sense of security and a reliable routine.


Reunification therapy is a term used by the Family Law Courts when one parent is estranged from the child or children and it is the desire of the court to improve their relationship.  Some of the reasons for reunification therapy include: one of the parents has been absent from the child's life due to drug or alcohol abuse, child abuse, incarceration, personal choice or alienation by the other parent.

High-Conflict Mediation

In especially high-conflict separations, both parties may find it useful to have "their own therapist/mediator." As needed, I collaboratively work with attorneys, child therapist and the courts. For more information, please see visit this resource.

Copyright©2011 Brian Jacobs, LCSW