A child’s ability to adjust after a divorce is MOST AFFECTED by the parents’ relationship after their separation. You knew how to be married, and you now know how to be divorced…but do you know how to co-parent with your former partner, outside the confines of a marriage?

Learning how to co-parent after a divorce is one of the hardest skills in life. The skills, decisions, and interactions that you have with your former spouse will determine much of your child’s future stability, security, and self-esteem.

10%-20% of divorcing partners exhibit high-conflict behavior…so you are not alone. This is more common than you realize, and there ARE ways to solve the problem between you and your ex. In 5%-10% of cases, there is a personality disorder or a substance abuse problem causing the conflict, and Parent Coordinators are trained to look for these issues, and get to the root of solving these issues, for the GOOD OF YOUR CHILDREN.

A Parent Coordinator works with parents (and step-parents, grandparents, and extended family members, if necessary) to teach parents to solve recurring issues in their communication, discipline, and interaction without the need for litigation. A Parent Coordinator is not on the mother’s side, or the father’s side…a Parent Coordinator’s SOLE PURPOSE is the well-being of your child and/or children, and giving you the tools to be the best co-parent you can be.

DO I NEED PARENT COORDINATION?

  • Are you in high conflict with your former spouse or partner regarding your children?
  • Is there a refusal of visitation, allegations of misconduct, anger issues, failure to communicate, stalking, or parental alienation?
  • Are you having compliance or enforcement issues with your former spouse regarding your custody or visitation schedule?
  • Do you have concerns about how your former spouse parents the children, but they refuse to discuss these issues with you?
  • Are you or your former spouse remarried, and is there a struggle with the new step-parent?
  • Are you concerned about your children, and how your conflict with your former spouse is affecting them?

If you have any of these concerns, a Parent Coordinator is the right choice for you.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • If I see a Parent Coordinator, does that mean I cannot go to court?

Answer: No. You may always pursue legal action, unless you are limited by an Order of the court. The purpose of Parent Coordination is for parties to actually SOLVE their disputes without court intervention, but it won’t always be successful. There may be a situation where you might have to seek court intervention, despite your best efforts.

  • As our Parent Coordinator, can you alter our Custody and Visitation Schedule?

Answer: No. You may alter your Custody and Visitation Schedule by written agreement between you and your former spouse, or a judge of a competent jurisdiction can alter your Custody and Visitation Schedule. Although I am a family law attorney, I do not and cannot represent either party in litigation if I serve as your Parent Coordinator. However, if one party is seeking to alter the Custody and Visitation Schedule, we can work towards these alterations in Parent Coordination.

  • I cannot stand being in the same room as my former spouse/partner. Do we have to do our sessions together?

Answer: Maybe. The first meeting you will have is with me as an individual, without your former partner present. I will assess the issues, concerns, and goals presented by each of you, and I will determine if sessions need to be done together. It is likely that the sessions will be needed to be attended together, but each situation is different and will be assessed based on your collective needs.

  • Do you have decision making authority?

Answer: Some cases grant the Parent Coordinator with decision making authority, and some cases do not. As a Parent Coordinator, my goal is to have you reach the decisions as co-parents. These are YOUR children, not mine — this is YOUR family. You and your former partner should be making the decisions for your family. However, in a few high-conflict situations, there is no compromise to be had, and a decision must be made. I will utilize the decision-making authority if it is granted by a court of competent jurisdiction, or if it is absolutely necessary to overcome an impasse.

  • How many sessions will be required?

Answer: It depends. If a judge appoints your case to me, then the judge will dictate how many sessions will be required. If you seek me out of your own accord, the minimum number of required sessions will typically be FOUR sessions. However, this is on a case by case basis, depending on your co-parenting issues, needs, and ability to have forward movement for the sake of your children.

  • Where can I go for more answers?

There are several great resources.

  • First and foremost, I would recommend Parent Coordination Central, located at:

www.parentingcoordinationcentral.com

  • Another great resource is the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, located at:

www.afccnet.org