Many co-parents who share custody of their children after divorce let their feelings of animosity towards one another get in the way of adhering to their custody agreement and parenting plan. This can cause serious emotional and even physical health issues for their children who are caught in their continued battles.
These parents are the ones who are often back in court, again and again, asking a judge to mandate their co-parent’s compliance with their custody order or seeking modifications of their original agreements.
What are parenting coordinators?
That’s where a parenting coordinator (PC) can often help. PCs come from a number of professions. Some are attorneys or judges. Others are psychologists or social workers. Whatever their profession, they’ve all undergone special training to be a PC. A court may order co-parents to work with a PC or they may decide to bring in one on their own.
The role of a PC varies depending on the needs of each individual family. However, in almost every case, they work with parents to help them follow the agreements in place, to better communicate with each other and to resolve their disputes on their own without going to court.
Specific goals vary by family
The goals for the co-parents and the PC can differ as well. One PC says he feels like he’s done his job when co-parents are able to sit together in the stands to watch their child play soccer and then go out and get pizza after the game.
That doesn’t have to be everyone’s goal. Some co-parents may just want to be able to have an amicable, mutually respectful relationship with their co-parent and be able to count on them to follow the parenting plan and custody agreement. Note that PCs are not appropriate for situations in which there’s been domestic violence.
Whatever your goals, bringing in a trained, unbiased parenting coordinator can help you better co-parent. It can also save you time and money dealing with the court that would be better spent on your children.