The Role of Parenting Coordinators
Many couples are able to resolve their differences amicably during the divorce process. However, when this is not possible, some couples use alternative dispute resolution, which can help the parties de-escalate their differences. In fact, in many cases, couples with children can ask a parenting coordinator to oversee the proceedings. To learn more about these and other options for resolving your divorce-related disputes, you should contact an experienced child custody lawyer who can address your questions and concerns.
What is a Parenting Coordinator?
Parenting coordinators are appointed in response to a motion submitted by either or both parents or by a court order. Once appointed, these individuals serve as neutral third parties who are given the responsibility of overseeing a child-focused alternative dispute resolution process and assisting parents with creating and implementing a parenting plan that is in the best interests of their child. Parenting coordinators are permitted to make recommendations, provide education, and in some cases, make limited decisions.
Parenting Coordinator Qualifications
Only those who fulfill certain qualifications can act as parenting coordinators. For instance, parenting coordinators must meet at least one of the following requirements:
- Be licensed in the field of mental health;
- Be licensed as a physician and retain the proper certification;or
- Be a member of the Florida Bar Association.
Only those who satisfy these requirements, among a number of others are qualified to act as parenting coordinators in Florida.
Are the Meetings Confidential?
In Florida, most communications that take place between or among the parties and a parenting coordinator during a session are confidential. This means that none of the parties are allowed to testify or offer evidence about conversations made in coordination meetings, unless:
- Doing so is necessary to identify, confirm, or deny a written agreement entered into by the parties;
- The testimony is limited to the subject of one party’s compliance with the parenting coordination referral, orders for psychological evaluation or counseling, or for substance abuse testing or treatment;
- The parenting coordinator is not qualified; or
- The testimony is necessary to protect someone from future domestic violence, child abuse, neglect, or abandonment.
The confidential nature of these discussions helps further the goals of parenting coordination, which is to resolve high conflict divorce without harming each parent’s relationship with his or her child.
Get Legal Advice Today
If you believe that your divorce could benefit from the appointment of a parenting coordinator, please call Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 for a legal consultation. Our dedicated Fort Lauderdale legal team is eager to assist you throughout each step of your case.