High conflict custody cases never end at the ring of the bell of the judge’s final decision. They often go on and on and on. . .
Years ago, I went through the training to become a parenting coordinator in addition to my role as a family law attorney, and I have had the opportunity to serve as a parenting coordinator on numerous occasions.
What does a Parenting Coordinator do? Can they help? Do they make matters worse?
As always, it depends. A great parenting coordinator can help cut through chaos to assist parents with their occasional disputes, interpretations of agreements and course corrections.
The job of a parenting coordinator is threefold:
1. To educate the parents with regard to issues that arise
2. To mediate between the parents if they raise day to day parenting issues
3. To arbitrate those issues when the parents absolutely cannot agree.
Parenting coordinators work within the framework of existing orders. They do not change custody or schedules that are clearly delineated in orders and agreements.
Parenting coordinators are overwhelmingly mental health providers, who do a great job with the education piece, and occasionally, a good job with the mediation component of parenting coordination. Experienced family law attorneys are also parenting coordinators, as they can serve all three roles set forth above.
I recently ran across the below “Top 10 List,” which I thought parents could benefit from, as well:
Top 10 Reasons Co-Parents Should Consider Engaging a Parenting Coordinator:
1. Reduce legal fees
2. Eliminate wasted energy battling in circles
3. Spend less time in court
4. Reduce stress on children
5. Enjoy quality time with the children
6. Model the positive behavior for children of courtesy and respect
7. Create an environment where the children can enjoy quality time with extended family
8. Benefit from being in a therapeutic environment to discuss child related issues as opposed to the courtroom.
9. Focus on career as opposed to spending time litigating
10. Focus on a new relationship with a significant other