Navigating the already challenging world of parenthood with someone you’ve had such a stormy history with is not easy. Even the most amicable of divorced couples face differences in opinion that can be incredibly difficult, especially for the children involved. And for high-conflict scenarios, an unbiased party is a necessity to work through charged situations.
Enter the parenting coordinator.
1. What is a Parenting Coordinator?
A parenting coordinator is a neutral third party who has been trained to assist parents in resolving issues regarding their children. They are involved in mediation outside the courtroom, and teach strategies for working together in deciding child-related disagreements, and also will be asked to make recommendation to the court for orders should resolution prove impossible.
Different from a mediator, a parenting coordinator specializes in family and therapy matters, and is concerned primarily with the best interests of your child. Their commitment is to helping you and your co-parent learn how to make important decisions together in a healthy way.
2. Who Decides?
Parenting coordinators can be assigned by the court in high conflict matters, are recommended by the judge, a lawyer, or chosen by the parents, to help reduce family conflict without resorting to the courtroom over every issue.
3. Where Are They Coming From?
Retired judges, licensed attorneys, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, professional counselors, therapists, and other specialists can receive additional training to become a parenting coordinator, lending diverse, valuable expertise to the joint custody conversations.
4. Why to Hire?
In addition to saving money on legal fees every time you and your former spouse have a disagreement, parenting coordinators can improve the necessary interactions between you and your ex, as well as between your children. They can also help you:
- Stop wasting energy constantly fighting
- Spend less time in court and more quality time with children
- Benefit from a therapeutic environment where you can discuss child-related issues besides the courtroom
- Model courtesy and respect for your children
- Reduce stress on children
- Focus instead on career and new relationships
5. When To Find?
If things with your co-parent get bad enough that a judge is assigning one to you, it’s gone too far. Find a parenting coordinator as soon as it is clear that you and your former spouse will have problems working through parenting issues. Working with the specialized expertise of a parenting coordinator helps you avoid:
- Hefty legal fees
- Lengthy time in court or your attorney’s office
- Energy-draining interactions with your ex
- Stress on your family
A parenting coordinator’s counsel allows you to resolve personal parenting issues in less stressful environments outside the courtroom, while focusing more on legal matters with your lawyer. After the divorce, you will want to do everything you can to move forward with your life. Meeting with a parenting coordinator can teach both you and your ex to navigate issues without fighting, setting up a judge-free future for your new family reality.