What “Is New Ways for Families”®?

New Ways is a structured parenting skills method intended to reduce the impact of conflict on children in potentially high-conflict divorce and separation cases. Both parents are encouraged to complete New Ways counseling at the start of their case, to prevent their divorce from becoming high conflict and to avoid unnecessary court hearings.

Why New Ways for Families®?

New Ways is intended to teach parents the skills necessary to put their children first by improving their co-parenting skills, and learning to jointly make their parenting decisions out-of-court, with the help of attorneys and/or mediators.
This reduces the time the court must spend making decisions for them. Plus when parents make their own parenting decisions, they are more likely to follow the agreements.

How It Works:

Mental Health Professionals
Six (6) Individual Counseling sessions: The counselor assists parents in learning and demonstrating co-parenting skills, as applied to their own unique case.
Three (3) Parent-Child Counseling sessions: The counselor assists parents in teaching their kids the same skills, hearing the child’s concerns about the divorce or separation and explaining to the child the “new way” the family will function.

Meetings with Lawyers / Mediators
Immediately following counseling, parents should meet with their lawyer or a mediator to discuss a parenting plan and other agreements.
New Ways-trained lawyers and mediators reinforce co-parenting skills with the parents, allowing for a more effective decision making process and client management and preventing parents from reverting back to old behaviors when creating their parenting plan.

“The courtroom is not the place to effectuate long-term resolution of child custody issues. It is imperative that parents learn skills, such as those being taught by New Ways for Families, so that our collective children can not only survive divorce, but can enjoy their childhood and mature into psychologically healthy adults”

~ Honorable Alan B. Clements (Ret.),, Family Law Commissioner, Superior Court of California, San Diego, 1998-2008; Judicial Officer of the Year, 2009, Family Law Section of the State Bar of California

Skills before decisions!

Both parents will learn four basic conflict resolution skills before making big decisions.

Flexible Thinking :
Acknowledging that there is more than one solution to every problem.
Turning complaints into proposals for future behavior or future agreements.

Managed Emotions :
Controlling anger, sadness, fear, and anxiety so as to not over-react.
Protecting children from a parent’s extreme emotions.

Moderate Behaviors :
Avoiding extreme actions, language, and parenting requests.
Responding to hostile communications so as to avoid escalating the conflict.

Checking Yourself :
Reminding yourself to use these skills during times of stress.

“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.”

~ Jane D. Hull, Former Governor of Arizona

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