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Reunification Therapy

The rules of Jenga are simple. First, you stack the 54 wooden blocks to create a tower; then, you slowly begin removing blocks from the tower and move them to the top of the tower. The player who removes a block from the tower, causing it to topple over, loses the game. Practicing family law is akin to playing a game of Jenga. In Jenga, the tower structure continually evolves throughout the game. Sure, there may be a gap in the tower here and there as blocks are removed, but the game’s primary goal is despite the gaps, the players work to keep the tower intact. Quite often in family law the established nuclear familial unit is changing. Gaps become evident with a separation or divorce as one household evolves into two. Despite these changes, family law attorneys strive to counsel clients to embrace the gaps and work to create a new normal in the children’s best interests without ultimately toppling over. Yet, just as in Jenga, sometimes toppling over is inevitable. Luckily, many resources are available for clients who find themselves in need of rebuilding their tower. 

 

One such resource is reunification therapy. With a divorce, the need for a custodial schedule moves to the forefront of many parents’ minds. Before implementing a custodial schedule, children may lose touch with one parent.  While losing touch with a parent can undoubtedly be malicious in the form of parental alienation, it is often an organic byproduct of divorce. The reorganization of households sometimes makes it harder for children to spend equal amounts of time with both parents. Whatever the situation, reunification therapy reconnects parents and children, allowing them to redevelop a secure emotional connection and support.

 

While reunification therapy may be entered voluntarily, it can also be court-ordered.  In Nguyen v. Heller (COA19-648), the court ordered the parties to engage in reunification therapy and assigned a reunification therapist to the matter. The court did this because out of the parties’ four children, two did not see the Father and refused to spend time with him. As a result, the court concluded that a reunification therapist was the best option for rebuilding the familial bond between the father and his children.

 

If reunification therapy is a viable option for your situation, it is important to cooperate fully with the reunification efforts. The results of studies show that children are better off when they have both parents actively involved in their lives. Reunification therapy improves children’s lives in several ways, including socially, academically, and emotionally. Displaying resistance to the process and not proceeding with the next steps will only hinder the children’s progress toward reconnecting with the parent and experiencing all the benefits that come with it.

 

Think reunification therapy may be a good fit for your situation?  Call Woodruff Family Law Group to schedule an initial consultation today.