Parenting Coordinator and Parenting Facilitator
If a judge determines that a you have a high-conflict child custody case, the judge may appoint a Parenting Coordinator (PC) or Parenting Facilitator (PF). It is the job of these coordinators to meet with parents to assist in reaching agreements regarding the children and resolves disputes before any court action is taken.
The difference between a Parenting Coordinator and a Parenting Facilitator is that the Parenting Coordinator attempts to resolve the parenting issues through confidential procedures and may not testify in court about any communications they have had with the parties, as to the basis of their recommendations to the parties and as to the parties’ compliance with their recommendations.
Parenting coordinators and facilitators can serve as very effective tools in high-conflict custody cases. Most parenting coordinators and facilitators are mental health professionals or social workers who have lots of experience in working with high-conflict families and who are trained to effectively resolve disputes with regards to visitation, child support or child custody.
The duties of a PC or PF include:
- identifying disputed issues
- reducing misunderstandings
- clarifying priorities
- exploring possibilities for problem solving
- developing methods of collaboration in parenting
- understanding parenting plans and reaching agreements about parenting issues to be included in a parenting plan
- complying with the court’s order regarding conservatorship or possession of and access to the child
- implementing parenting plans
- obtaining training regarding problem solving, conflict management, and parenting skills
- settling disputes regarding parenting issues and reaching a proposed joint resolution or statement of intent regarding those disputes.
The court maintains the right to make decisions about conservatorship, child support, and possession of and access to the child. The court also maintains the authority to exercise management and control over the suit.
In other words, the PC or PF can work to facilitate agreement on disputed issues or can encourage compliance with the court orders, but the PC or PF cannot permanently modify custody or possession orders.
Typically a PC or PF is paid by both parties in an equal allocation, but the court has the discretion to order some other method of payment.
The Bottom Line
Parenting conflicts are extremely sensitive. Whether you are trying to protect your children from your spouse, your spouse is critical of your parenting, or your spouse is not being reasonable, Attorney Vince Handler will help you resolve the issue so you can get on with your life. Contact us today.