How A Parenting Coordinator Can Help Resolve Issues In Your Parenting Plan
When parents are unmarried or go through a divorce, dealing with issues pertaining to children can be particularly contentious. Through the Florida court system, parenting and timesharing plans are developed which require both parties to put aside their differences and work together to ensure the best interests of their child are served.
Unfortunately, complying with the terms of a parenting plan is something that is often easier said than done. In cases where problems and disputes do arise, the court may appoint a parenting coordinator to help resolve those issues.
The Purpose of Parenting Coordination
Under Section 61.125 of the Florida Statutes, parenting coordination provides alternate dispute resolution in the development of parenting plans and in child timesharing matters, with the needs of the child as the central focus. The coordinator is appointed by the court, and works impartially with both parents in regards to the following:
- To identify issues that stand in the way of formulating or implementing the parenting plan;
- To act as a mediator between the parents to help resolve misunderstandings;
- To offer education on co-parenting, how to communicate effectively, and how timesharing arrangements should work;
- To make recommendations that can help avoid the need to go back to court.
Parenting coordinators are limited in making decisions relating to their clients or the parenting plan, and their conversations with the parents and child are subject to confidentiality rules. At the same time, the coordinator may offer limited testimony or other evidence to the court, and is under an obligation to report any situations involving domestic violence, drug abuse, or any situation in which the child could be put in danger.
What To Expect At Your Initial Session
Parenting coordination is conducted under specific rules and guidelines set out by the Florida courts. The Florida Bar Association advises that during your initial session, you can expect your coordinator to do the following:
- Review the terms of the order of referral from the court;
- Provide information about their role and the parenting coordination process;
- Outline the extent to which each party is required to participate in the process;
- Review the confidentiality terms under which sessions are conducted;
- Outline the court’s role in the parenting coordination process, including each party’s right to seek court intervention;
- Advise the parties of their right to seek legal representation;
- Review all fees and costs associated with each session.
Our Office Can Help You Today
If you are involved in a parenting plan dispute or have been considering returning to court to enforce an existing order, parenting coordination may be an option. Contact the Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC today to find out how our experienced family law attorney and parental coordinator can help resolve issues with your former partner which impact both you and your child. We provide the trusted, professional service you need to help you avoid going back to court, potentially saving you both time and money.