William G. Austin, Ph.D.
Settlement Facilitation for Separated/Divorcing/Divorced Parents: A Gatekeeping Approach to Reaching Voluntary Agreement on a Parenting Plan
Facilitation of Settlement
BRIEF DESCRIPTION S.A.F.E. is a forensic psychological service developed by Dr. Bill Austin based on his professional writings, workshops and forensic evaluation model on Parental Gatekeeping (along with colleagues).
S.A.F.E. is designed to assist parents in developing their own parenting plan and parenting time schedule and to help contain the professional expenses associated with divorce. If this early intervention is successful it may avoid the need for a court-appointed parenting evaluation [Parenting Responsibility Evaluation (PRE) or Child & Family Investigation (CFI)], litigation, mediation, or attorneys for the parenting plan aspect to a divorce agreement. It is a very cost effective service to facilitate reaching an agreement on a parenting plan, or to contribute to attorneys or a mediator in their attempts to produce a settlement. The approximate cost is $750 to each parent.
For a more detailed description of this service [Click Here]
To read the Brochure for S.A.F.E. [Click Here]
S.A.F.E. is an early intervention service designed to assist separating/divorcing parents and partners to come to a voluntary settlement, or agreement on a parenting plan. The service may assist parents to develop a parenting plan before attorneys are hired or to contain legal fees if they do have an attorney. Most parents do reach an agreement. Many do so without an attorney. S.A.F.E. attempts to facilitate this process with the gatekeeping approach on co-parenting education and the use of coaching/parent consultation.
S.A.F.E. is not mediation. It contains a certain amount of coaching, or advice-giving based on child development research and practical considerations that fit the realities of the family circumstances.
One purpose of this service is to help parents contain their legal fees. S.A.F.E. is very cost effective. It is designed as a 5 hour service with a cost of $750 for each parent if they can participate in joint interviews and discussion: 4 hours discussion, education, consultation, and 1 hour for Dr. Austin to do a brief report for parents and attorneys.
S.A.F.E. is primarily designed for parents whose partnership is dissolving, but it can be useful when one or both parents want to modify their existing parenting plan and before they head down the path of litigation. Parents can always voluntarily agree to modify their parenting plan as circumstances with the children and family change.
Participants are asked to read the Gatekeeping Bench Book prior to arriving and will receive other educational materials on co-parenting. The educational component will include a power point presentation. A screening assessment identifies the parents’ preferences for a parenting time schedule and how to make decisions about the children. Issues where the parents agree and disagree are identified for the purpose of conducting a candid feedback and discussion where Dr. Austin tries to facilitate an agreement on a parenting plan, or to make progress to use in working further with his or her attorney to reach settlement.
"Early Intervention - Parenting Plan Development" the following published AZ Parenting Plans 2002.
A full description of this early intervention service and how make an appointment is available on the website [Click Here].