Even in the most contentious and acrimonious circumstances, divorcing and divorced parents and their children may nevertheless benefit from utilizing the services of a parenting coordinator. A parenting coordinator may be either a mental health professional or an attorney who has the requisite training and experience to assist the parents in implementing a custody agreement or order and resolving those disputes that the parents themselves cannot.
In the heat of their own dispute and the fog of their own fury with one another, parents cannot always agree upon what is in the children’s best interests. An important, useful and positive alternative to bringing such disputes to court for resolution is the use of a parenting coordinator. The role of the parenting coordinator may be broadly defined or narrowly constrained but must be clearly defined.
Courts may order that parties utilize the services of a parenting coordinator before seeking judicial intervention. Parties may enter into an agreement to submit parenting issues to a parenting coordinator for resolution. Coordinators can certainly make recommendations and often that is sufficient to enable parents to resolve their dispute. Coordinators may even be given decision making authority but those decisions remain subject to oversight by the court. While parents will generally follow the parenting coordinator’s decision, they nevertheless reserve the right to seek a judicial determination in the final instance.
The use of a parenting coordinator can produce resolutions more efficiently and economically than bringing such disputes before a court and the expanding utilization of parenting coordinators reflects the utility of the services they provide.