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Co-parenting isn’t always a very easy thing to do. A big part of doing so involves making joint decisions about all sorts of things concerning your children, whether it be what they eat for dinner tonight or which school they attend. When making these kinds of decisions results in conflict and you can’t even get close to reaching a resolution, it’s probably time to enlist help from a professional. That’s where a parenting coordinator may be able to help.
Parenting coordinators are specially trained professionals whose work focuses on helping co-parents manage their parenting plan, improve communication, and resolve disputes. A parenting coordinator’s role will vary based on what it is that the family needs and what the court stipulates. They may be there to monitor that parents are complying with their parenting agreement, educate and offer recommendations on ways to solve issues, or even make certain decisions for the parents based on what the court allows. Even though the parenting coordinator is there to work with the co-parents, the overarching focus of their work is to uphold the best interests of the children and encourage each parent to do so as well.
In helping co-parents to resolve conflicts and manage their parenting plan, a parenting coordinator will also work towards helping high-conflict clients to stay out of the courtroom. Many co-parents who have been in the courtroom numerous times over disputes, for things like showing up ten minutes late for a parenting time exchange, are probably ready to stop going back to court themselves. When situations such as these come up, the parenting coordinator may suggest ways in which parents might resolve the issue. In some instances, the parenting coordinator may even make the decision, as long as doing so is within their obligations.
As a co-parent, you may be wondering if working with a parenting coordinator is in your best interest. In essence, if you are constantly in conflict and cannot resolve issues with your co-parent, a parenting coordinator may be able to help get you out of this situation. Here are five reasons to work with a parenting coordinator:
You are more likely to spend less time in the courtroom. When your parenting coordinator is there to help by offering guidance or even making decisions when you can’t come to one, you’ll spend less time arguing with your co-parent. When you’re not arguing as much, you are also less likely to make countless return trips to court. In turn, this will also help you to save money by not having to spend more on legal fees.
It may help to reduce stress on both you and your kids. Fighting can create a huge emotional burden for those doing the fighting and those surrounded by it. Even if you’re not doing it in front of them, your kids may still be quite impacted by the arguments you have with your co-parent. A parenting coordinator can help you to stop fighting so much by educating you on ways to resolve conflicts in a timely manner. While you will be glad to have stopped fighting so much, your kids will also be glad to have more peace across their two homes.
Your kids may also learn better communication and problem-solving skills. Parents are the most important role models for their children. When co-parents are able to communicate with each other and make decisions without conflict, their kids will take notice. They may even learn a thing or two about positive communication skills themselves.
Parenting coordinators are focused on making the right decisions for your children. Whether it’s conscious or not, it can be hard sometimes for co-parents to separate the issues they have between each other from the important decisions they must make with regard to their kids. A parenting coordinator comes in as a neutral third party, so the suggestions they make are unbiased and always in favor of the kids. While this is true, they will seek to gain an understanding of what is going on within the family. In many cases, a parenting coordinator will meet with both parents separately, and possibly the children, to better understand your family and the issues you face. This gives them better insight as they help co-parents make the best decisions for their family moving forward.
You’ll have more time to focus on your kids. While your parenting time is based on your parenting agreement, working with a parenting coordinator can take away some of the stress you used to have when it came to dealing with your co-parent. With less stress about communication or making decisions, you will be able to spend more time focused on your kids.
When co-parents are constantly in conflict and cannot communicate effectively, working with a parenting coordinator can be helpful. In any case, it is important that you discuss this and any other questions you may have with your attorney. While a parenting coordinator can help to teach you communication skills, you may also find it helpful to use an online communication tool specifically designed for co-parents. The OurFamilyWizard® website offers a variety of features to help parents schedule and track parenting time, share important family information, manage expenses, and create an accurate log of communication. Even the professionals you work with, like your attorney and parenting coordinator, can join the conversation on the website and oversee your communication. Learn more about OurFamilyWizard® and sign up today!