From the Therapist's Desk

Sample Agreement for Healing Estrangement and Reuniting a Parent and Child

Some parents are able to reach agreements about integrating a returning parent into the life of a child without needing attorneys or the court. Others will need court orders. In either case, parents and children need support during the process and may benefit from professional assistance.

Whatever your situation, here are the basics for an agreement.

1 We will both seek counseling.
2 Our children will receive counseling.
3 We will focus our attention and conversations with each other on our children.
4 We will build up the amount of time the returning parent spends with our children at a pace comfortable for the children, whether fast or slow.
5 The primary parent will retain the support systems and schedule established for the children while the returning parent was estranged.
6 To make sure that the returning parent's reentry into our children's lives is for the long term, we will meet together monthly for a coparenting meeting (facilitated if we agree on that) to make necessary modifications to our initial agreements.
7 We agree that we will use facilitated coparenting meetings with a neutral professional who has expertise in child development and family resturucturing prior to using court resources to resolve disagreements whether attorneys are involved or not.

Transitions Family Program at Hannah's House provides comprehensive services for families dealing with an estranged parent-child relationship.