Divorce and Family Law News: Navigating Conflict with Parenting Coordinators


Divorce does not suddenly bring forth harmony between former spouses. Combine lingering emotions with disagreements about child rearing issues and the lawyers reenter the fray. Surely there is cost-efficient, less-adversarial way to resolve parenting issues outside the courtroom. You are in luck!

What is a Parenting Coordinator?

Parenting coordinators provide a child-focused process to facilitate the resolution of parenting disputes. This process largely removes each party’s lawyer, takes the judicial system out of the fight, and focuses not on which parent is “right,” but on what is best for the child. After all, the best interests of the child standard in custody cases controls.

Can a parenting coordinator help me and my children?

Parenting coordination aids high-conflict parents in effectively implementing existing parenting plans. What this means is very different for each family, but often results in the parenting coordinator monitoring compliance with the court-approved parenting plan, allowing each party to have a voice and be understood, and avoiding future conflict by demonstrating effective co-parenting skills. Many clients view parenting coordinator utilization as a form of alternative dispute resolution where each party remains on equal footing with a third party neutral guiding the parents to amicable solutions.

Parenting coordinators sometimes allow families more flexibility than the traditional court process. This is because parents have the option of deciding a parenting coordinator’s powers. Parents provide parenting coordinators with the power to make limited decisions or make only non-binding recommendations. For example, if there is missed parenting time, the parenting coordinator could have the power to decide when the make-up parenting time will occur or only make recommendations to the parents as to when the make-up parenting time should occur. Either way, the parents save time and money by not filing a contempt action with the court and moving through the adversarial process.

In essence, parenting coordination is a unique tool used in the divorce process, but it can bring about results which cater not only to both parents, but also assist parents in the peace-building process. All of this is done while keeping the children the main focus and establishing productive communication between parents so the children can remain paramount.

How do I learn more about parenting coordination?

For more information about parenting coordination in divorce and family law matters, contact Tyler Coe by email or by phone at 515-288-6041.

Clark Butler, J.D. candidate, Drake University Law School, assisted in the preparation of these materials.

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