During a divorce or custody dispute, and sometimes even after the legal dispute has been resolved, it is often difficult for parents to work together to effectively co-parent their children. In situations where the difficulties between the parents become so extreme that the wellbeing or the best interests of the child or children involved becomes negatively impacted, the services of a parenting coordinator may be necessary.
Parenting coordinators are usually mental health or legal professionals with conflict resolution training and experience in effectively resolving custody related disputes between parents. Parenting coordinators work directly with both parents to focus on what is in the best interest of the child or children involved and how to effectively implement the parenting time or custody arrangement that severs the child’s best interest.
Because parenting coordinators work with and provide advice to both parents concerning custodial or parenting time arrangements, any testimony or recommendation provided to the court by a parenting coordinator will not be solely on the behalf of one of the parties. Because the parenting coordinator may eventually provide his or her unbiased opinion to the court regarding both parents’ co-parenting abilities, each parent has an incentive to cooperate with the parenting coordinator and try to implement his or her suggestions to the best of their ability.
The costs associated with the services of a parenting coordinator depend largely on the particular parenting coordinator chosen by the parties, as the fees charged are determined by the individual parenting coordinator. Normally, because parenting coordination is a service utilized by both parents, payment for parenting coordination services is split equally between the parents. However, other payment arrangements may be made depending on the agreement between the parents.