What is a parenting coordinator?

Posted by: Dr. Justin D'Arienzo, Psy.D., ABPP

People of ask, “What is a parenting coordinator?” As unfortunate as it is, divorce does happen for one reason or another. Frequently, the divorcing couple will still have children. This frequently compounds matters and causes many differences in parenting styles to escalate and become more apparent. This can lead to the former couple going to court to attempt to forcefully resolve parenting disputes. This can be long, drawn-out, and ultimately not good for the children involved. This is where a parenting coordinator (PC) in place can be very useful and effective . The PC is a licensed and credential (mental health professional or lawyer) third-party that assists the divorced parents in making decisions on how to raise their children. To do this the parenting coordinator helps parents resolve disputes about their child or children, makes recommendations about how to raise the children, and with the approval of the parents and the court, makes decisions relating to the children (61.125). By opting to allow the parenting coordinator to specifically resolve impasses, the parents can circumvent litigation  and save thousands of dollars in allowing the parenting coordinator to decide matters such as time sharing schedules and where exchanges will take place. Ultimately, this allows the parents to have greater influence in the decisions for their children rather than relying upon the Judge or Magistrate. A parenting coordinator can also aid in removing the actual need to go to court by allowing the divorced parent’s to contact the parenting coordinator if a conflict occurs and the parent’s wish to resolve these without the Court (Moses & Townsend, 2012).

How to Help Your Child with Divorce
How to Help Your Child with Divorce? What is a parenting coordinator?

To get a parenting coordinator both parents must petition the Court. The Court itself may also motion for a PC (61.125). After either of these, the Court may then suggest some parenting coordinators. Courts and attorneys typically have a list of qualified parenting coordinators. Parents may opt to find a parenting coordinator themselves if the Courts permit it. If the parents decide to do this, they can use a Google or Bing search engine to find one in their city. They then will need to seek the approval of the Court. It should be noted that PCs are only available in ten states at this time. They are: Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas (Moses & Townsend, 2012). Also, in Florida a parenting coordinator may be mental health professional, a physician, a family law mediator, or a member in good standing with the Florida Bar. In order to be qualified as a parenting coordinator, in addition to having a professional license to practice health care or law, one must complete a Florida Supreme Court Mediation Certification Class and then participate in a three to four day certified parenting coordination class. Parenting coordinators are highly experienced and qualified professionals able to help you resolve the most difficult of conflicts with your former spouse.

-What is a Parenting Coordinator was written by Brett Wallace, our psychology intern in January 2015. Brett is a student at the University of North Florida, and has worked with us for one year.

D’Arienzo Psychology is a Jacksonville, Florida Clinical and Forensic Psychology Practice specializing in parenting coordination, family mediation, and couples therapy. Dr. D’Arienzo, Psychologist and Ms. Salameh, Attorney are both highly qualified and experienced parenting coordinators serving north east Florida (Duval, St. Johns, Clay, and Nassau Counties). Contact us today for more information about what is a parenting coordinator or about how we can serve you and your family at 904-379-8094.  

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