What Is New Ways for Families®
New Ways is a structured parenting skills method intended to reduce the impact of conflict on the children in potentially high-conflict divorce and separation cases. It is a “no blame, no shame” approach, preventing parents from becoming defensive and unwilling to learn.
Both parents should complete New Ways at the start of their case, to prevent it from becoming high conflict and to avoid unnecessary court hearings.
This method is skills-based rather than lecture-based, emphasizing strengthening skills for positive future behavior. Parents have many opportunities throughout the program to practice the skills by applying them to hypothetical situations, as well as their own co- parenting situations.
Practicing these skills in a neutral strengths-based environment, and understanding how they can be used in the current situation, prepare parents for mediation, court hearings and successful development of a parenting plan.
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 by jointly making their parenting decisions with the help of professionals – but without relying on the court to make decisions for them. When parents make their own parenting decisions, they are more likely to follow the agreements.
This reduces the time and resources the court must spend on managing these cases in unnecessary court hearings. Completion of the program also provides the court with information about which parents are able to demonstrate the skills necessary for successful co-parenting – and those parents who may need more intensive intervention.
How to use New Ways for Families®
New Ways is intended to be used by both parents at the beginning of the case. However, parents will benefit from learning the skills at any time. Following completion of the course, parent should immediately work with legal professionals to settle their case, prior to returning to court. The legal professionals can reinforce the New Ways skills, helping parents to stay on track.
“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”
~ Hon 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