Emma was scared to start seventh grade in a new school. But it’s just one of many stressors in her young life. Her parents are both on disability. Because they’re separated, Emma lives with each parent a week at a time – and mediates all the fights between them.

Emma also lost the support of her psychiatrist who had prescribed medications to help her cope. But then he quit –blaming the high level and severe conflict between her parents.

Without medications and therapy, Emma began acting out in school. She got into profane verbal fights with classmates and was suspended. Today, she is in cyber school. Her teachers say she’s one of the most at-risk kids they’ve ever seen.

She’s only 12.

What Emma really wants is to try out for volleyball and make friends. Because she’s relegated to taking classes online, she struggles every day with increasing levels of loneliness and isolation.

The judge who’s monitoring Emma’s case asked The Shortest Line to fund a psychological evaluation and services for her and her family. The court believes the evaluation will help it decide what’s in Emma’s best interest. Among other things, the judge will address these issues:

  • Should her parents’ shared custody of Emma continue? Or should she live only with one parent? What parent would give her the best outcome?
  • Should Emma return to school? Or should she keep taking classes online until she receives counseling for her mental health?
  • How can the conflicts between her parents be resolved or at the very least reduced? Would co-parenting classes help? Are scheduled visits needed? Would mom and dad benefit from counseling?