Sometimes parents can’t seem to get along no matter what. There can be many causes for this situation. Their disagreements can be simply a result of different parenting styles, or perhaps there is a level of distrust of the other parent, or perhaps one or both parents have mental health issues or a personality disorder. These are some of the myriad of reasons that parents return to court over and over again, even when a court has decided upon custody after custody evaluations, trial or agreements made by the parties.
Therefore, attorneys and the court may agree upon or appoint a Parenting Coordinator, who takes the parties’ conflict out of the court to assist them in resolving their differences. The Parenting Coordinator is a neutral trained professional who has extensive experience in resolving conflict.
An Order must be entered by the Court, possibly with the consent of both attorneys, that will define the responsibilities of the Parenting Coordinator. For the most part, the parties will meet with the parenting coordinator together, who can be a trained mental health professional or a lawyer.
Generally, the goal of the Parenting Coordinator, is to help the parties learn strategies and techniques for resolving their own conflicts or establish habits that will allow them to get along for the benefit of their children.
Finally, it’s important to note that most times the Parenting Coordinator will be permitted to report to the Court in order to help the judge should the process fail and the parties continue their post-judgment litigation.