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You are divorced, and the last thing you want to hear is that money and time need to be allocated to a Parent Coordinator. According to you, you know how to parent your children and do not need or want some stranger to tell you how to do it. If only your ex-spouse would see it your way. It is not difficult at all for this divorce attorney to understand that when the issue is parenting, the automatic defense mechanism goes up.

So what is Parenting Coordination and how can it help? Parenting Coordination is actually a child-focused Alternate Dispute Resolution process and is essentially utilized to create a “buffer” between you and the other parent. Simply put, the Parenting Coordinator helps to resolve conflicts related to parenting issues. Not only is the process likely to reduce overall litigation costs associated with filing repetitive motions, but it can quickly resolve those recurring day-to-day disputes that have a habit of turning into outright war.

Consider this. Do you and your ex-spouse argue incessantly about issues such as pick-up and drop-off for parenting time, disciplining the children, arrangements for healthcare reimbursement, or even about clothing, equipment, toys, and the children’s personal possessions? Another popular one is the children’s extracurricular activities. If this sounds like you and your ex-spouse, rest assured that you are not alone. Arguing about what should be minor parenting issues is frustrating, time-consuming, and takes a toll on the entire family. Instead of continuing to engage, a solution is at hand. Parenting Coordination can significantly reduce or eliminate this constant bickering altogether. Even more important is that it actually helps the children because it keeps them out of the never-ending back and forth.

A Parenting Coordinator can be appointed by the Court or agreed to by the parties. The parties each pay a portion of the Parenting Coordinator’s hourly fee. If a dispute arises, the Parenting Coordinator is contacted by one (or both) of the litigants. A Parenting Coordinator can issue written or oral recommendations, and contact any professional or other individual he/she deems necessary in order to carry out their duties. Moreover, it is advisable to pick a person who has the personality and skill set to effectively deal with both parties. The Parenting Coordinator’s role should be carefully defined in a Consent Order and a separate retainer agreement is required. Keep in mind that a Parenting Coordinator’s report (or recommendations) may be included in an application to the Court and may be admissible in evidence in court proceedings. Also, communications with the Parenting Coordinator are not confidential.

Somewhere along the way, most litigants who use a Parenting Coordinator learn to communicate better or start to employ some of the skills learned by engaging in the process itself. Come in for your free initial consultation so that we can discuss if a Parenting Coordinator can help in your situation and help get you on track towards conflict-free co-parenting.

Until next month…SSC


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