Parenting Coordination is a non-litigation alternative to post-divorce motions involving parenting issues. The divorce is over, but the conflict continues with children trapped in the middle. Why? Because the plan for parenting created at the time of the divorce has not been effectively implemented due to ongoing disagreements between the parents. Typically children of divorce experience anger, sadness, fear, confusion, and guilt. Children exposed to unrelenting conflict experience all of these plus poor problem-solving skills, a greater propensity for acting out, poor long-term adjustments, aggressive behavior, continuing poor academic performance, etc.
Research shows that eight to twelve percent of divorced couples remain in high-conflict two to three years post-divorce. In this process, the Parenting Coordinator becomes the lightening rod for conflict in place of the children. Specifically, the goals of Parenting Coordination are to:
- Minimize chronic conflict
- Focus and educate parents on the needs of their children
- Reduce/eliminate further litigation
- Successfully implement the parenting plan
- Improve communication
- Achieve decision-making
The typical process first involves the court appointing or the parties selecting a parenting coordinator. The parenting coordinator is a specially trained and experienced family law mediator. When parenting problems arise, the issue is presented to the Parenting Coordinator who attempts to mediate a resolution with the parties. In the event no resolution can be mediated, the Parenting Coordinator changes roles from mediator to arbitrator. As the arbitrator, the Parenting Coordinator decides the issue much as a judge would in litigation. The decision is binding upon the parties within the scope of the prior order of the court or appointment contract between the parties.
Thus, upon the occasion of a parenting dispute, instead of rushing back to court to file a motion to show cause why a spouse should not be held in contempt of court; with Parenting Coordination the parties engage in a child-focused alternative dispute resolution process which is more efficient, more economical and less damaging to the children.
Acting as a parenting coordinator is one of the family law legal services that we offer at HUNT LEGAL GROUP. Please give us a call to discuss this new and innovative dispute resolution alternative.