Parenting Coordination

Parenting Coordination is a process where an impartial third person, appointed by the court in family law cases, helps parents to implement their parental rights and responsibilities by educating them, coaching them, and helping them resolve disputes.  The process of Parenting Coordination can resolve issues more quickly, more efficiently, and more affordably than going back to court over and over again.  Parenting Coordination is generally appropriate in cases where: 1.) one or both parents restrict the other's access to a child, 2.) there is a high rate of re-litigation between the parents, 3.) one or both parents restrict access to information about a child, 4.) mediation has been unsuccessful or considered improper to resolve the parents' disputes, or 5.) there have been frequent changes in lawyers for one or both parents. 

Parenting Coordinators are experienced and highly trained professionals.  Parenting Coordinators must have a master's degree or higher, a law degree (Juris Doctor) or education and experience satisfactory to the court, and they must have at least two years of professional experience in matters involving children as a counselor, therapist, social worker, attorney, etc.  They must complete their certifications through the Ohio Supreme Court Judicial College in general mediation and domestic relations mediation before completing their certifications in Parenting Coordination. 

Parenting Coordinators educate parents in the areas of parental communication, co-parenting, dispute resolution, and how children can be affected by parental conflict depending on their stages of development and how the children have adjusted to parental separation.  Parenting Coordinators also monitor compliance with existing court orders.  When parents cannot resolve disputes with the help of a Parenting Coordinator, the Parenting Coordinator can actually decide the issue by writing a decision and filing it with the court [as long as the decision is within the scope of the court order of appointment].

How do I get a Parenting Coordinator?

Sometimes, one or both parents come to the realization that they cannot set their differences aside for the benefit of their children.  Every disagreement transforms from a minor skirmish to a major battle.  It's exhausting for the parents and its exhausting for the kids.  It's also expensive to go back to court for every little thing.  Knowing that a Parenting Coordinator can either help resolve these disputes or make a decision to resolve the dispute in a timely and more affordable manner can be a life saver.  So, can you just Google "parenting coordinator" and hire one for your kids?  You can't do that, but you can petition the court to have a parenting coordinator appointed to your case.  Some people have a parenting coordinator appointed in their original parenting plan and some people go back to court years later to have a parenting coordinator appointed.  It doesn't matter when a parent asks for a parenting coordinator, it only matters that the parent asks for one.

What to Expect from a Parenting Coordinator

Knowing what to expect (and what not to expect) from a Parenting Coordinator is important. Parents should expect a Parenting Coordinator to be:

  • An active listener who asks questions, so they understand the issues.
  • A professional and polite person who can be straightforward without being rude.
  • Someone who is ultimately looking out for the best interests of the children no matter the motives of either parent.
  • An educational person who wants parties to learn the best ways to co-parent with each other.
  • An insightful person who wants the parents to discover and learn the best methods to raise their particular children - not just learn the general do's and don'ts or one-size-fits-all parenting advice you can read on the internet.

Seek Legal Counsel

Let us handle your unique case. For any questions or concerns about parenting coordination work, please reach out to us today.