Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer

Manatee County Parenting Program Goes International

According to a recent article in the Bradenton Herald, a local parenting coordination program that operates in the 12th Judicial Circuit has gone international. Debra K. Carter, a licensed clinical psychologist, Florida Supreme Court-certified family mediator, and qualified parenting coordinator, operates the Carter Psychology Center, as well as the National Cooperative Parenting Center, which is designed to train individuals worldwide about how to best help parents help their children during divorce and separation. Thus far, Carter has taught the program in Rome, Italy, Barcelona, Spain, and, most recently, in Singapore.

County Program Acts as a Model for Parenting Coordination

When a 2009 law authorized the referral of parents in particularly contentious cases to professionals in order to protect children from parental conflicts, counties in the 12th Judicial Circuit, including Manatee, Sarasota, and DeSoto Counties, immediately saw the need for these services. As a result, courts in these counties began referring fighting parents in high-conflict cases to one of about 15 parenting coordinators who are available in the area. The role of the parenting coordinator is to teach parents to keep their children out of the adversarial legal process and provide them with the protection and care that they need during a very difficult time in their lives. Parenting coordinators must have completed certain specific training and meet national training standard guidelines.

Children Suffer From High-Conflict Court Battles

When parents are in conflict, Carter points out, children suffer. Some may withdraw and even develop physical symptoms, such as headaches and stomachaches. Other children become angry and defiant, causing them to lash out at others. Heated, unpleasant visitation exchanges can cause extreme distress for a child, who simply wants love, attention, and affection from both parents. The division of the marital home into two separate homes also can be very unsettling for children, who typically view their home as a safe place or respite.

Do I Need a Parenting Coordinator?

Whether a parenting coordinator is necessary in your case depends entirely on your individual situation. Parenting coordination is designed to help families through extreme conflicts that are related to their children. Often, a court will look to a parenting coordination program when mediation is not appropriate for the parents, or when the parents have attempted mediation unsuccessfully. The goal of the parenting coordination program is to avoid unnecessary and costly litigation, as well as to reduce the harmful effects of conflict on children. Participation in a parenting coordination program also may be helpful where the parents have failed to adequately carry out their shared parenting plan.

Contact Your Florida Timesharing Attorney for Assistance

Whether you are struggling to establish a time-sharing plan with your ex-spouse or trying to work through changes to the existing time-sharing schedule with your ex, you need experienced legal representation. With a skilled Florida divorce lawyer at your side, you can successfully navigate through the often-difficult process of establishing or changing a time-sharing arrangement. Contact Vanessa L. Prieto and learn how we can help.