WELCOME TO OUR DIVORCE SERVICES!
In addition to our counseling services, we conduct a variety of divorce-related services. Please see below a description of each service:
CHILD CUSTODY MEDIATION
"I am an avid proponent of Mediation because it is a process by which people going through divorce and separation can keep the power of decision-making in their own hands. I've heard a lot of judges say, 'We are not the best people to make decisions about your children. We don't know your children like you do. If we have to, we will make the best decisions we can, but those decisions should be made by parents who know their children best.' I completely agree. I encourage people to go to Mediation in order to keep control over their own decisions."~Trey Trotter, LMFT
"I am an avid proponent of Mediation because it is a process by which people going through divorce and separation can keep the power of decision-making in their own hands. I've heard a lot of judges say, 'We are not the best people to make decisions about your children. We don't know your children like you do. If we have to, we will make the best decisions we can, but those decisions should be made by parents who know their children best.' I completely agree. I encourage people to go to Mediation in order to keep control over their own decisions."
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a cooperative and confidential process where Ms. Trotter sits down with you and your co-parent and she helps you resolve unresolved issues, including but not limited to establishing custody and visitation arrangements as well as making modifications to your current orders. She has had "55" total hours of Mediation Training, allowing her to specialize in child custody and domestic abuse Mediation.
Why does Mediation work?
When we argue, we tend to get stuck defending our positions. As an experienced mediator, Ms. Trotter takes an "interest-based" approach in helping co-parents resolve their issues. "Interest–based" negotiation is focused on flushing out and resolving the issues that fuel your positions. While mediating she frequently hears, "Trey if we could talk like this we could have resolved our issues ourselves!" Sometimes it just takes a trained neutral party to help you stay focused on the issues, and to help you learn effective communication and conflict resolution skills.
Can we mediate if we have a Protective Order?
Yes! Ms. Trotter took twelve additional hours of training to specialize Mediation Training in Domestic Abuse and Child Custody pursuant to 43 O.S. § 107.3 and she staggers the arrival and departure times so that you may have safe passage in and out of my office. You and your co-parent are put in separate rooms and Ms. Trotter alternates meeting or "caucusing" with each of you separately.
You can meet with Ms. Trotter as many times as necessary to resolve the issues. She has met with clients anywhere from one to six times in the past, and on average meets with clients one to two times.
Upon completion of the final Mediation session, Ms. Trotter will prepare a Memorandum of Understanding and submit it to you, your co-parent and the attorneys. The attorneys will draft your agreements into order form to present to the court for approval by the Judge. Your case will be finished and you don't have to go to court. You are also welcome to come back in the future if disagreements arise in which you need assistance resolving.
Ms. Trotter has been providing Mediation services since 1995. Through the Oklahoma Academy of Mediators and Arbitrators, she completed the 40 hour Mediation training course pursuant to "Family and Divorce Mediation" 12 O.S. § 1825. Ms. Trotter then completed 12 additional hours to specialize in "Domestic Abuse and Child Custody Mediation" pursuant to 43 O.S. § 107.3. Ms. Trotter is currently listed on the Families in Transition approved list of Mediators in Tulsa County. See it here.
"It can be difficult to change your relationship with your children's other parent from a romantic one that didn't last into a business-like relationship using productive communication and conflict resolution skills. Your relationship with the other parent is changing, it is not ending... I can help you make that transition."
~Trey Trotter, LMFT
~Trey Trotter, LMFT
What is a Parenting Coordinator?
A Parenting Coordinator (PC) is a trained professional who engages in the practice of dispute resolution with high conflict parents. A trained professional, often a mental health practitioner, is appointed by the court. The PC usually has experience with high conflict parents, child development, family systems, patterns of domestic violence, knowledge of substance abuse, family law, and who has specific training in the practice of Parenting Coordination. The PC's role is to manage ongoing issues in high-conflict custody and visitation cases.
Parenting Coordinators are Best Utilized When...
1. Other means of conflict resolution have not worked and parties still have ongoing co-parenting disagreements
2. Co-parents have problems communicating and resolving conflict in a way that remains focused on the best interest of the child
3. One or the other co-parents has concerns about substance abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, or the mental health of the other party
4. Co-parents are still living together but need to discuss interim arrangements
5. Co-parents need help working through changes in their parenting plans or need assistance clarifying existing parenting plans
What are the Benefits of Parenting Coordination?
1. Reduces stress for the children
2. Reduces stress for co-parents
3. Parents learn effective conflict resolution and co-parenting communication skills
4. Provides monitoring and reporting of progress and compliance to the court
5. Informs parties of child development issues
How Do I get a Parenting Coordinator Assigned?
Parenting Coordination must be ordered. You or your attorney must make either a verbal or written request of the court. Ms. Trotter only accepts this version of the Order Appointing Parenting Coordinator. Print out this order or refer your attorney to this link in order to begin the process of appointing Ms. Trotter.
How Does Ms. Trotter Process PC Cases?
Parties will always meet separately for their first appointment, their "Intake Appointment," which is two hours in length. This gives each party an opportunity to explain their side of the story. This also allows Ms. Trotter the opportunity to explain how the process of Parent Coordination works, including reviewing the rules, and fees, answering and clarifying the paperwork and PC process, and all applicable paperwork. The next session is scheduled jointly, where both parties are present. If a protective order is in place, times can be staggered and parties can be separated in separate rooms. Usually, parties meet regularly in the beginning, with sessions being scheduled out according to the level of co-parenting conflict. It is Ms. Trotter's intention to teach co-parents to use the tools to co-parent independently and to eventually meet with the parties only on an "as-needed" basis. No retainers are necessary as long as parties follow the Rules and/or the Fee Payment Agreements located in their Intake Packets.
Ms. Trotter was on the working committee of the Families in Transition Program, and assisted in writing the Order Appointing Parenting Coordinator courts still use in its amended form. As a pioneer in the Parenting Coordination process, Ms. Trotter also helped establish the local court rules and was present during the writing of the first legislation in the country that governed the actions of the PC. She was also present for the writing of the legislative revision in 2003.
Sometimes parents cannot agree on how their children will share their time with them and make decisions regarding them. Sometimes mediation or other methods of alternative dispute resolution don't resolve all the issues. High levels of conflict in separating and divorcing couples often lead to court intervention to decide the parenting plan under which the children will live. This is when the Court may order a child custody evaluation of the family by a licensed mental health professional.
Custody evaluations are very intensive and comprehensive assessments of family dynamics and parenting capacity. A comprehensive custody evaluation includes multiple methods of data gathering including interviews with the parents, children, step-parents and/or significant others, observations of each child (both alone and interacting with each parent and other adults in their lives), home visits, histories of both the family and each individual, each parent's and child’s wishes about the parenting plan, psychological testing of each parent and adult, a review of all relevant documents, and information from collateral sources.
A Collaborative Divorce Coach is a mental health professional who helps you recognize, communicate, and negotiate emotional concerns during the divorce process. The Collaborative Divorce Coach is a part of a specialized team of professionals. This specialized team works with parties who choose to divorce amicably.
Instead of divorcing couples engaging in emotionally charged conflicts, the Collaborative Divorce Coach can assist parties in thinking more clearly, managing emotions, and behaving respectfully and constructively with one another. Coaching is focused on the here and now, and helping parties learn to communicate and resolve conflict effectively.
This is accomplished by:
- Teaching and coaching respectful and active listening
- Assisting the parties in understanding each other's viewpoints
- Formulating goals for your individual futures
- Remaining focused on the best interest of the child(ren) and planning for their futures
- Supporting both parties in putting the child(ren)’s needs ahead of their own
ADOPTION HOME STUDIES
Why Choose Adoption?
Health and Infertility
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 11% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 suffer from infertility. Of sexually experienced men under age 45, 7.5% report seeking medical help for possible fertility issues. The inability to become pregnant or carry the pregnancy is a common reason couples wish to pursue adoption. Sometimes women's health problems also make it unsafe or impossible to have a healthy pregnancy.
Single people may wish to choose to adopt if they have not decided to marry or engage in a long-term relationship. Many agencies do not discriminate against adoptive parents based on marital status.
Same-gender couples often have the same dreams of parenthood as traditional couples and may choose to adopt. Adoption agencies vary in their willingness to assist same-gender couples. Check your state laws as well.
As an Alternative to Having Biological Children
Anyone may wish to adopt as an alternative to having biological children, as some people feel very strongly in finding homes for existing children without families. An international child without parents or a family could be an ideal match for a couple or single adoptive parent wanting to help a child and start a family. While international adoptions have declined, in 2012, 8,668 international adoptions occurred, according to the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs.
What is an Adoption Home Study?
The adoption home study is a detailed written report of your family. This can take anywhere from one to six months to finish because the process requires gathering and submitting a lot of documentation and completing fingerprint and background checks. In addition to the documentation, interviews will be conducted with everyone living in the home and reasons for adopting will be explored. Depending upon the type of adoption, there may be one or more home visits. Ms. Trotter will be able to get a complete picture of who you are and what life is like in your family and submit a home study to the adoptive agency or to the court. The adoption home study is a part of the decision making process for both the prospective family and the court and will help an agency place a child into your home who would best fit into your family. The adoption home study will result in a detailed written report of your family and home environment. The process consists of:
- visit(s) to the home
- review of documents
- interviews with the family residing in the home
- background checks
Ms. Trotter is a certified adoption home study provider through Heritage Family Services, Tulsa, OK. Her certification qualifies her to conduct home studies according to Oklahoma statutes. She has performed both open and closed adoptions as well as private adoptions through Catholic Charities.