What is a Parenting Coordinator?

A Parenting Coordinator is a professional trained to assist parents in establishing and maintaining a healthy co-parenting relationship during and after litigation.

Who can be a Parenting Coordinator?

Dr. Saunders is a Qualified Parenting Coordinator.  All Parenting Coordinators must have a minimum level of education and training to qualify for the title.   State law decides the specific qualifications necessary to become a Parenting Coordinator.  Section 61.125(4), Florida Statutes, governs the qualifications for a Parenting Coordinator in the State of Florida.

How can a Parenting Coordinator be used?

Parents may voluntarily engage the services of a Parenting Coordinator or the court may refer parents to a Parenting Coordinator.  Sometimes, even if the parents voluntarily engage the services of a Parenting Coordinator, the Parenting Coordinator may request an order referring the parties to parenting coordination be entered so the Parenting Coordinator’s roles and responsibilities are clearly defined.  Some Parenting Coordinators require a court order.

What is the purpose of Parenting Coordination?

The use of a Parenting Coordinator is an alternative dispute resolution process.  When parenting issues arise between separated or divorced parents or “high-conflict” cases that involve parenting issues, parents can seek the assistance of a Parenting Coordinator to resolve disputes instead of or prior to bringing the issue(s) to court or mediation for resolution.

Section 61.125(1), Florida Statutes, states “The purpose of parenting coordination is to provide a child-focused alternative dispute resolution process whereby a parenting coordinator assists the parents in creating or implementing a parenting plan by facilitating the resolution of disputes between the parents by providing education, making recommendations, and, with the prior approval of the parents and the court, making limited decisions within the scope of the court’s order of referral.”

What is the Parenting Coordinator’s role?

Typically, the Parenting Coordinator’s role is to assist parents in reaching a resolution between themselves in the best interest of their child(ren).  Unless the parents agree, the Parenting Coordinator’s recommendations are simply that – recommendations – and the Parenting Coordinator’s role is to facilitate communication between the parents and provide recommended resolutions to disputes as opposed to bringing the dispute to a court for resolution.

In some cases, the parents agree to make the Parenting Coordinator’s recommendations binding on themselves when they are unable to agree.  “Binding” means that the Parenting Coordinator’s recommendation must be followed by the parents as if ordered by the Court.  In Florida, the parents must agree for the Parenting Coordinator to have this decision making power.

Call us if you may need a Parenting Evaluation or Parenting Coordination.  We are happy to help.

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