How Parent Coordinators Can Help Resolve Child Custody Issues
- posted: Sep. 20, 2021
- Family Law
Parenting coordination can be a useful way of overcoming disagreements about child custody issues in a divorce. By this method, parents seek the help of a neutral consultant whose focus is on the best interests of the children involved and attempts to assist on those daily or weekly decisions that parents cannot agree on but which would not get to Court in time for a decision on the issue. Parenting coordinators — who may be social workers, mental health professionals or lawyers — are trained to help families work through custody related issues in a way that can reduce stress and frustration and with the hope of avoiding extensive post-judgment (after the divorce) motion practice.
Similar to mediators, parenting coordinators try to have parents engage in constructive discussions about areas of dispute, steering the talks as needed, and assisting the parties’ in reaching decisions without the need for court intervention.. While parenting coordinators don’t make custody decisions, they can identify the sources of conflicts and make recommendations for compromises that the parents might not be able to see on their own.
Here are a few things to keep in mind about parenting coordination:
- While it is similar in style to mediation, parenting coordination is not treated as a substitute for any mediation proceeding mandated by the court.
- The process is not confidential. Parenting coordinators can be required to testify in court. Documents created by the coordinator, such as summaries of parental meetings, are admissible evidence. Additionally, a coordinator has a duty to advise the court of any concerns that a child may be in danger of harm.
- During the divorce process, a parenting coordinator can assist in custody evaluations and settlement conferences.
- After a final decree is issued, parents can continue to seek the coordinator’s support to resolve any custody issues that may arise, which could eliminate the need for additional litigation.
If you have questions about how parenting coordination works or need help in securing a coordinator, it is best to consult an experienced divorce attorney.
Martone Law Group, located in Haddon Heights, NJ, and represents parents in child custody and visitation matters. We serve clients in Camden, Burlington, Gloucester and Atlantic counties. Call us today at 856-432-4587 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.