Psycho-Legal Services


Dr. Mellen works informally with both parents to assist them with reaching agreements involving their children that are fair, a good fit for their family, meet the needs of the children and are “tried and true”, having both been successful for other parents who have sought good outcomes for family members and that have a sound basis in the scientific community. Dr. Mellen also works together with attorneys representing parents and attends mediation sessions at the office of one of the parent’s attorneys or she can schedule these meetings at her office located in Scottsdale. When parents are represented by attorneys, the attorneys typically lead the meetings and Dr. Mellen is available to provide input from a developmental and/or psychological perspective to help guide the mediation process so that agreements can be reached efficiently with parents fully aware of relevant information to consider when entering into a parenting plan.

Collaborative Divorce

Within the collaborative divorce process Dr. Mellen can serve as a parenting coach for one of the parents or as a child specialist. In these roles Dr. Mellen works as a part of a collaborative divorce team that usually includes lawyers and oftentimes a financial professional. Her role in this process is determined at the start and she will either serve as a coach and support person for one of the parents or in her child specialist role will meet and interview the children and provide the parents and collaborative team with specific information about the children that will help inform parents before entering into parenting plan agreements.

Parenting Coordination

In this role, Dr. Mellen assist parents in resolving disputes after a parenting plan is put in place. Parents must agree to use the services of a Parenting Coordinator and upon appointment, Dr. Mellen meets with parents usually after they have been unsuccessful with resolving a dispute involving their children. In these cases, parents may present with concerns about the parenting plan that is in place or they proactively want to add or change portions of the parenting plan in order to accommodate a change in the family system. Parents are able to negotiate these minor changes with the assistance of the Parenting Coordinator who is then able to forward to the Court, in minute entry format, agreements entered into by the parents, or without agreements between parents but after input from both parents, final recommendations that would be in the family’s best interest. This process is efficient and cost-effective for parents and ensures that minor changes in parenting plans are memorialized and that a parenting plan for a family is always current and has legal standing.