An Intro to Parent Coordination
Even in the face of challenging circumstances, couples who co-parent must set their differences aside so they can be on the same page when addressing their children’s health and well-being. Whether parents have joint legal custody or shared physical custody, it’s imperative that they continually focus on and solve for the issues that impact the day-to-day needs of their shared children. That’s where parent coordination comes in.
Aptly named, parent coordination is a process during which a trained facilitator arms parents with additional support in their efforts to co-parent. And since there’s nothing more important than the well-being of your children, our qualified parenting coordinator is here to help you establish a respectful co-parenting relationship designed with your children’s best interests in mind.
What is a Parenting Coordinator?
A neutral third party acting in every child’s best interest, hired to help parents make important decisions regarding the issues at hand for their children. Before being approved for selection in a particular jurisdiction, parenting coordinators must meet a specific list of requirements that address their age, training, and willingness to enroll in continuing education courses. A parenting coordinator can either be chosen by the parents and then appointed by a court order, or selected directly by the court in high-conflict cases.
What is a Parenting Coordinator's Role?
To help the caretakers involved forge a more effective co-parenting relationship. Despite the coordinator’s constructive purpose, however, your parenting coordinator is not your attorney — nor are they your therapist, mediator, Best Interest Attorney, judge, or custody evaluator. Parenting coordinators are impartial and focused strictly on empowering co-parents to manage their parenting plan, streamline communication, and resolve disputes. And while the goals of the parenting coordinator and the parents may not always align, some shared goals typically are:
- To align around the court-ordered parenting time schedule — and uphold it
- To make necessary changes to the parenting time schedule
- To resolve and reduce parenting conflicts
- To build meaningful and healthy parent-child relationships
- To learn the skills needed to engage in collaborative parenting
- To establish a working plan for communication between co-parents
- To minimize tension between the parents, stemming either from litigation or alternative sources
Helping Parents Help Their Children
From a practical lens, a parenting coordinator can help parents:
- Establish healthy daily routines
- Create transportation schedules
- Select medical providers or therapeutic providers
- Coordinate the children’s extracurricular activities
- Set expectations around disciplinary behavior and resulting consequences
- Build effective parent-child communication patterns
Under the Maryland Parent Coordinator rule, coordinators can also:
- Develop a custody and visitation plan alongside the parents in the absence of an existing order
- Help the parents when interpreting and complying with an existing order
- Educate the parents on how to make decisions on behalf of the children’s best interests
- Provide informative resources
- Develop strategies to reduce conflict
- Inform the court if a child is in immediate physical or emotional danger
- Make minor, temporary changes to child access provisions in some limited situations
Finding the Right Parenting Coordinator for You
As you navigate this challenging time, a trusted legal team who can help you make rational, well-guided decisions is essential. After all, when it comes to the well-being of your children, the importance of finding strategic and compassionate counsel focused solely on family law cannot be understated. Powered by years of relevant legal experience and training, our qualified parenting coordinator can design a tailored strategy to help you take back your power and build the new beginning you — and your children — deserve.