What To Know About Parenting Coordination In Florida
Divorce can be emotionally grueling for the parties involved, especially for a couple’s children, who may not fully grasp how and why their lives are about to change. Because it is not possible to fully shelter children from custody and parenting time issues, Florida lawmakers instituted a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) called parenting coordination that is available to divorcing couples. Parenting coordination is child-focused and is specifically designed to help parents cope with custody struggles in high-conflict divorces. Parenting coordination isn’t right for everyone, so if you have questions about whether this type of negotiation could benefit your family, consider reaching out to an experienced attorney for advice.
Parenting Coordination is Child-Focused
Observing tense, acrimonious divorce negotiations can have long-lasting repercussions for children, who may struggle emotionally or face developmental challenges as a result. In these cases, parents are encouraged and sometimes required, to engage in parenting coordination, which as we mentioned earlier, is a non-adversarial dispute resolution process in Florida that helps parents come up with and implement a parenting plan. Parenting coordination involves the assignment of a specially trained parenting coordinator to a case. This person is then tasked with:
- Helping the parents resolve disputes related to parenting time;
- Educating parents on the developmental needs of their children at certain stages;
- Providing parents with guidance when it comes to childcare-related decision making; and
- Facilitating enforcement of the parenting plan after it is put in place.
Parenting coordinators are allowed to make recommendations to families about negotiation tactics and the types of terms that should be included in a parenting plan, and with the prior approval of parents and a judge, can even make limited decisions about the specific terms of a child’s parenting plan.
Parenting Coordinator Credentials
Parents who engage in parenting coordination during the divorce process can rest assured that the parenting coordinator assigned by the court to their case is well-qualified to fill that role. Under state law, these individuals must be:
- Licensed mental health professionals;
- A doctor certified in neurology or psychiatry;
- A mediator certified in family law; or
- An attorney in good standing with the state bar.
These credentials put parenting coordinators in the best position to assess the mental health not only of a couple’s children, but of the couples themselves, so that they can come up with a parenting plan that reflects a particular child’s best interests.
Call An Experienced and Compassionate Florida Child Custody Lawyer
If you think that your family could benefit from parenting coordination, please contact Fort Lauderdale child custody lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. for help. You can reach out to us at 954-945-7591 or by filling out one of our online contact forms. After assessing your particular circumstances, we can walk you through your legal options, which may include parenting coordination. Resolving custody matters often proves to be one of the most difficult aspects of divorce. You do not, however, have to go through this process alone.