You may not realize how much a parent coordinator could help with your divorce. Adults are the ones who make the decision to end their marriage, but children can very easily get pulled into this difficult situation and caught in the middle. To more easily navigate a divorce with children, you may want to use a parent coordinator.
When Might a Parent Coordinator Be Helpful?
A parent coordinator can help families during any divorce involving a family with a child or children. Unfortunately, divorcing parents may allow heightened emotions to cloud their judgment at the cost of their children’s well-being. Parents coping with a stressful or unexpected divorce may get distracted by practical details. They may even adopt a “win at all costs” attitude toward divorce-related issues, even if this attitude is out of character for them. Some parents find themselves unable to agree on the issues that involve their children, leading to stalemates or bitter disputes. This is often called “high conflict” parenting.
What Is High Conflict Parenting?
Parents may develop a “high conflict” parenting style during a stressful divorce. They may have difficulty communicating about their children’s care. They may struggle to cooperate on decisions or actions involving the children. Anger and distrust may develop between the parents or among family members. Some parents overuse the court system in an attempt to resolve these issues. Sometimes, high conflict parenting involves abuse – verbal, physical, or emotional.
If you find yourself in the midst of a divorce and notice you or your spouse taking a “high conflict” approach, consider a parent coordinator. Moreover, think about a parenting coordinator if you feel the divorce is amicable but realize that your children need more consideration during the process.. You already may have a divorce lawyer – speak to your lawyer about how to get a parent coordinator involved with your case. It could be extremely beneficial for your children.
What Does a Parent Coordinator Do?
A parent coordinator assists children and parents with navigating the stressful times that arise during a separation and divorce. He or she can help a family turn a high conflict situation in a “win-win” situation. In a more amicable divorce, he or she can make sure that a child’s needs are met while also taking into account the parents’ needs.
Parent coordinators’ role involves helping families explore ways to compromise and communicate. The problem-solving approach can help parents work together for the benefit of their children. Parent coordinators are lawyers or licensed mental health professionals who have the insight and training to assist parents and children with collaboration and problem-solving techniques.
The court can appoint a parent coordinator at any time during a child custody proceeding. Alternatively, you and the other parent can agree to have a parent coordinator appointed. The court order appointing the coordinator will spell out his or her authority to act during your divorce or custody matter.
Keep in mind that parent coordinators cannot alter court-ordered custody arrangements. You should speak to your divorce lawyer about specific questions you have regarding custody. Your parent coordinator can step in to help you navigate the day-to-day decisions you and the other parent must make for your children. Rather than remaining “divorcing parents”, your parent coordinator can assist you with reframing your relationship as “co-parents”.
Learn More About Parent Coordinators from New Direction Family Law
In the middle of a divorce and need help with conflicts involving your children? The team at New Direction Family Law is available today to answer your questions. Our attorney/partner Elizabeth Stephenson is a licensed parent coordinator who assists families during child custody proceedings and divorces. Our other attorneys are also knowledgeable, effective, and compassionate professionals who can help you. Contact New Direction Family Law at (919) 646-6561 to schedule a consultation, or visit us at our website.