Bram Fridhandler, Ph.D.

(415) 409-9800

Family Law

Divorcing couples, and divorced or separated parents with children, often use the services of a mental health professional to make the process easier and to make things better for their children.  You are welcome to contact me to find out more about the following services I offer.  To view an interview of me about these services, click here

Parenting Plan Mediation
In this role, I help parents create a parenting plan, including basic issues such as how much time the children will spend in each parent's home.   I help parents consider each other's ideas and negotiate an agreement.  If both parents want, I give advice about plans that fit their children's ages.  Parents can have me put their agreements in writing.  Written agreements can be filed with the court and be legally enforceable, if both parents wish.  If parents want help negotiating financial issues such as spousal support, they work with attorney-mediator concurrently. 
To view my summary of what a Parenting Plan is, click here.  For other resources about mediation, click here
Coparent Counseling
In coparent counseling, we work to improve collaboration between parents for the sake of their children.  Depending on how much tension there is, the goal may be improved "cooperative" parenting, with relatively high amounts of interaction between parents, or improved "parallel" parenting, with limited interaction between parents.  Because successful coparent counseling reduces conflict, it may indirectly contribute to reduced litigation.  Coparent counseling is not the same as mediation because it takes place after at least a basic, stable parenting plan is in place.  It can be short-term or open-ended, depending on the needs and wishes of the parents. 
To view information about an article I published on coparent counseling, click here
Special Master
A Special Master (sometimes called a Parenting Coordinator) is appointed by the court, with the agreement of both parents, when divorced parents have ongoing difficulties making decisions together about their children. In this role, I help parents try to agree on decisions and, when they can't, I make the decisions, thus reducing conflict and avoiding court appearances.  The court order says what issues I will make decisions about. 
Child Custody Evaluator
A child custody evaluator is appointed by the court, generally at both parents' request, for a thorough evaluation of children and parents when serious issues are affecting the well being of the children.  The outcome is generally a detailed written report and a set of recommendations to the court about whom the children should live with and other issues.  For information about how I conduct these evaluations, click here
Psychological Evaluations for Family Court
Courts may order a psychological evaluation of a parent to determine whether he or she has problems that need to be considered in custody decisions or that need to be treated for the welfare of the children.  I tailor these evaluations to the specific situation, using psychological tests, interviews, review of records, and other sources, depending on the needs of the situation.