Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C.
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Posts tagged "counseling"

Counseling for Adoption

Each county is responsible for keeping a list of qualified counselors who are available to assist natural parents contemplating voluntary relinquishment or facing involuntary termination of their parental rights. Prior to an adoption taking place, the rights of the natural parent(s) must be terminated. This is a permanent act and accordingly, the courts ensure that the natural parents understand and have a chance to discuss with a qualified professional. A portion of the filing fees paid to the court for adoption/termination proceedings go towards supporting that county's counseling fund which subsidizes the costs for counseling where the natural parent(s) desire to participate but are unable to afford it.

Counseling in Adoption

Prior to an adoption taken place, the rights of the natural parent(s) must be terminated. This may occur via consent, voluntary relinquishment or involuntary termination. Regardless of the method of termination, each county is responsible for keeping a list of qualified counselors who are available to assist natural parents contemplating voluntary relinquishment or facing termination of parental rights. There is a filing fee due for each adoption petition that is filed. The amount of the filing fee varies by county. A portion of the filing fee goes to support the county counseling fund which subsidizes the costs for counseling where the natural parent(s) desire to participate but are unable to afford it.

Counseling for Children

Counseling may be a useful resource for children dealing with changes in family status due to divorce or separation. It can serve as a safe place for children to discuss and process their feelings. It is not uncommon for children to be reluctant to discuss their feelings with their parents. Both parents will need to agree to counseling unless one parent has sole legal custody. A parent can petition the court for an Order regarding counseling if they believe it is necessary and they are unable to get the other parent's consent.

Counseling during a Divorce

Oftentimes when people are getting divorced, there are many emotional issues involved. In instances where one spouse did not want the divorce, or even when they did but they endured physical abuse, adultery, mental abuse, or just the trauma of change that a separation brings, counseling with a qualified therapist or psychologist can be invaluable. While the process of getting divorced brings with it all these emotions, the application of the law of divorce does not consider all these emotions in the actual outcome of the division of the assets or alimony. This can be extremely frustrating for someone who feels that they need to be compensated for all they endured. It is important to be able to separate the emotion of the divorce from the actual application of the outcome of the divorce itself and this is where a therapist can really help someone. Having someone to help through the emotional process is important to be able to be rational when it is time to come to a discussion of the settlement of the assets and alimony. 

Counseling in Adoption Cases

Prior to an adoption taking place, the rights of the natural parent(s) must be terminated. This may occur via consent, voluntary relinquishment or involuntary termination. Pursuant to 23 Pa C.S. 2505, each county is responsible for keeping a list of qualified counselors who are available to assist natural parents contemplating voluntary relinquishment or facing termination of parental rights. The court must inquire of the natural parent(s) if counseling services were utilized prior to any decree terminating their rights. If the natural(s) have not received any counseling, the court may briefly postpone a decision on the termination to allow the natural parent(s) an opportunity to seek counseling. 

Reunification Counseling in Custody Cases

Reunification counseling is a process meant to rebuild a relationship. Often times, reunification counseling will be used in the context of a custody dispute to reintroduce and/or reinforce the relationship between a parent and their child. There are several reasons why reunification counseling may become necessary. It could be a situation where one parent was not involved in the child's life for a long period of time and so some type of counseling becomes helpful in assisting both parties ease back into a normal relationship. Alternatively, a course of reunification counseling can be used after a sudden change in relationship has caused damage or anger. For example, a child may not understand why his or her parents have separated and may show anger or resentment towards the parent who moved out of the home. Or perhaps, it is not even the child initiating the feelings of resentment or anger, but the other parent who then projects those same feelings onto the child.

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