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Parent Coordinators What are they and Why do I need one?

When parents are involved in a divorce, things can get quite confusing for children, especially in situations where there is constant conflict between the parents. In high conflict cases that involve children, a judge may appoint a parenting coordinator or the parties may mutually agree to hire one. The purpose of a parenting coordination is to provide a child-focused alternative dispute resolution process. The parenting coordinator assists the parents in either creating or implementing a parenting plan by helping parties resolve their disputes. The role of parenting coordinators ranges from facilitating communication among all parties involved to making limited decisions wherever required.

In addition to being appointed in cases of high conflict divorces, parenting coordinators are also appointed in cases where one or both parents have a history of substance abuse, when the children have special needs, and also if the mental stability of either parent is in question.

What strategies are used by parenting coordinators to resolve conflicts?

Monitoring parent plans

Often, when a divorced couple is involved in raising a child, they may have conflicting ideas on how to bring up their child. In such cases, a parenting coordinator helps the parents to come up with a plan that is in the best interest of the child as well as the parents. Parenting coordinators use a number of tools, including educating the parents, making recommendations, and with approval by the parents and/or the Court, making some limited decisions.

A parenting coordinator makes sure that both parents are sticking to the plan and is not causing any difficulty for the children. Parenting coordinators may monitor something as simple as an educational plan to something as complex as making a recommendation to the Court regarding a custody/timesharing/visitation /holiday schedule, and so on.

Education of parents

Parenting coordinators assess the current situation in a divorce and the overall family dynamics. Based on what these coordinators learn, they counsel each of the parents and educate them on the best way to make decisions, resolve conflicts, and ensure the well-being of their child. Parenting coordinators can also teach communication skills and principles of child development issues children face when their parents no longer live together.

What are the qualifications of a Parenting Coordinator?

The role of a Parenting Coordinator is a very important one. A parenting coordinator is an impartial third person whose role is to assist the parents in successfully creating or implementing a parenting plan. The court takes role this very seriously, so the qualifications to become a parenting coordinator are pretty extensive.

To be qualified, a parenting coordinator must meet one of the following professional requirements:

a. Be licensed as a mental health professional under Florida Statutes § 490 or § 491

b. Be licensed as a physician under Florida Statutes § 458, with certification by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

c. Be certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a family law mediator, with at least a master’s degree in a mental health field

d. Be a member in good standing of The Florida Bar

Additionally, a parenting coordinator must complete the following:

a. Three years of post-licensure or post-certification practice

b. A family mediation training program certified by the Florida Supreme Court

c. A minimum of 24 hours of parenting coordination training in parenting coordination concepts and ethics, family systems theory and application, family dynamics in separation and divorce, child and adolescent development, the parenting coordination process, parenting coordination techniques, and Florida family law and procedure, and a minimum of 4 hours of training in domestic violence and child abuse which is related to parenting coordination

We at Jarbath Peña Law Group believe that in certain situations working with parenting coordinator can help our clients achieve their new beginnings. Call us today at 305-615-1005 to schedule an appointment to see how we can help you get to your new beginning.

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