When your child goes to therapy, things can get tricky.
When you’re going through a Utah divorce and your child goes to therapy, things can become a minefield.
When parents are going through divorce, one may start trying to use the therapist as a weapon against the other.
All of this is completely inappropriate, of course (kids deserve a therapist for them, not one who’s being tugged every which way by parents), but it still happens often.
One of the mines we’ve seen divorcing parents traverse with therapists is the reintegration plan.
A reintegration plan is a plan put together by a therapist that reintegrates a child with a parent.
That might not sound too frightening or dangerous, but a reintegration plan indicates the therapist believes there is a major breakdown in the parent–child relationship, and therapeutic intervention is needed to solve the breakdown and keep the child safe psychologically.
Because of this, if a divorcing parent is asking for custody, or wants anything more than minimum parent-time, signing a reintegration plan is not a good idea.
Here are three reasons why it’s not a good idea:
- Reintegration plans are not confidential.
Usually, what you say to your therapist is confidential, so you don’t have to worry about it getting out for others to hear.
When you sign a reintegration plan with your child’s therapist, it isn’t confidential.
Your child’s therapist isn’t your therapist, so there’s no therapist–patient confidentiality.
- The divorce court can — and will — use reintegration plans against you.
If you’re going through a Utah divorce and you sign a reintegration plan, that plan can be provided to the court, and the court can read it and use it against you in your divorce.
Courts reason that if a reintegration plan is necessary, and you voluntarily signed it, there is a major, major problem between you and your child.
This means the court will be less likely to give you custody of your child or large amounts of parent-time.
- Reintegration plans are often very vague.
Therapists aren’t lawyers and they don’t write reintegration plans with the law in mind.
This means the plans are often vague about timelines for reintroduction of parent-time, steps that need to be followed, etc.
The practical reality of this is: reintegration can take forever.
Forever is not something you want in divorce and custody situations.
If you’re going through a Utah divorce, it’s not a good idea to sing a reintegration plan with your child’s therapist.
Call Brown Family Law
If you find yourself facing a Utah divorce, please call 801.685.9999 for a legal in-person consultation, or use our online scheduling tool.