At no-fault divorce law in the nation, the reasons for the divorce were no longer relevant.  Seasoned practitioners know the importance of telling the "story" of the divorce.  It is by listening to the most profound issues in a changing or ending relationship that healing and resolution begin.  The deepest feelings of hurt, abandonment, anger, revenge and ambivalence need to be expressed and understood. 

It is the experienced mental health professional who can do this in the context of mediation of custody and visitation disputes. 

The attorney who attempts to dismiss feelings of a parent in order to quickly resolve the legal issues may experience an impasse.  An inexperienced attorney once made a serious error in a conference when she said, "Don't talk about what happened.  The past is not important; we need to talk about the future."  It's true that family law orders focus on what will offer in the future, but to dismiss the past as not being important is a disservice to clients and doesn't recognize important parts of our lives. 

Mental health mediators are often able to help parents express important feelings as a prelude to resolving the parenting plan issues.