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Do you need a parenting coordinator?

Child custody disputes are uniquely stressful affairs. If parents agree on what is best for their children, then child custody matters may proceed in a relatively straightforward manner. However, if parents are compelled to dispute where their children should live, how parenting time should be allocated and how their children should be raised, the process can become quite emotionally and physically draining.

Most parents who are invested in their children ultimately want what is best for them. But even when both parents share this motivation, they may continue to disagree on what constitutes their children’s best interests. Experienced family law attorneys can often help to bridge the gap between invested parents. However, some parents and attorneys find that enlisting the help of a parenting coordinator can aid in the effective drafting of parenting plans and resolving certain sticking points in child custody disputes.

Sometimes, courts require parents to utilize the services of parenting coordinators in order to help resolve their high-conflict situations. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to cooperate with the parenting coordinator you have been assigned to, as he or she will almost certainly have influence in determining your child’s fate.

When a parenting coordinator is appointed by the court, the scope of his or her influence is generally defined by court order. However, when consulting a parenting coordinator is voluntary, the relationship can be more guided by the needs and desires of the parents. In either case, the parenting coordinator’s concern will be advocating for the child’s best interest. Each parent’s interest will be represented by his or her attorney.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Parenting Coordinators: Helping Parents Through High-Conflict Custody Cases,” Nicole H. Sodoma and Robin Goulet, May 8, 2014

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