What is a Parenting Coordinator?
Child custody is one of the most difficult and emotional parts of any contested divorce. It is not uncommon for two parents to agree on all of the financial issues, child and spousal support, and property division, only to find it impossible to come to any agreements about how their children will be raised post-divorce. It is understandable too; we love our children and we want what is best for them. This point, wanting the best for our children, is the great irony of child custody litigation. Ask any parent whether they believe dragging their children through months or years of custody litigation is healthy for them. The answer will be a resounding, “No.” Yet that is exactly what happens in so many family law cases. A parent coordinator can reduce the need for this extremely stressful practice.
In layman’s terms, a parenting coordinator is a hybrid between a mediator and a decision maker. Think of a parenting coordinator as the tie breaker. When two parents have an issue they cannot agree upon, they submit the issue to a parenting coordinator. The parenting coordinator will speak with both parents (and infrequently the children based on their age) and then make the decision for them. This is non-binding, however the two parties usually agree in advance to accept the recommendation of the Parent Coordinator (PC). The PC also models appropriate and respectful communication and works to increase trust, empathy and cooperation between the two parties.
Whether a parent coordinator is court ordered, or just mutually agreed upon by the two parties, I have been trained in Parent Coordination and can help. Fees for this service are not covered by insurance. Please feel free to call for a consultation to see if you and your co-parent can benefit from this service.