Parenting coordination is a process where an impartial third person, appointed by the court in a family case, helps parties implement their parenting plan by facilitating the resolution of disputes between parents and/or legal guardians. Parenting coordinators educate the parties as to the child’s needs, make recommendations to the parties, and with prior approval of the parties and the court, make decisions within the scope of the court order of appointment.
The parenting coordinator may assist the parties by providing education regarding the developmental needs of the child, the effects of parental separation on family members, co-parenting and parental communication. The parenting coordinator monitors compliance with the established parenting plan and assists the parties in effectively facilitating their time-sharing arrangements. The parenting coordinator will use conciliation skills to assist the parties in resolving child related issues, thereby reducing the potential for future parental conflict.
What a Parenting Coordinator is NOT:
A parenting coordinator is not a social investigator, parenting plan facilitator, mediator, therapist, financial advisor, attorney, or guardian ad litem.
Parenting coordination is appropriate for high conflict cases dealing with child related issues, such as when:
Parenting coordination is NOT for cases in which it has been determined that the process may compromise the safety of any party, the minor child, or the parenting coordinator.
Because parenting coordination helps high conflict families resolve their disputes outside of court and reduces the excessive use and cost of litigation…
Because parenting coordination serves as an alternative dispute resolution method where high conflict cases with child related issues are not suitable for mediation or mediation was unsuccessful…
Because parenting coordination helps families through conflict, resulting in a more intact family unit, even if separated. Parenting coordination reduces the harmful effects of conflict, which jeopardizes the well being of children.
A parenting coordinator is a qualified professional pursuant to Fla. Stat. §61.125, who must have completed specific training, and meet national training standard guidelines. A parenting coordinator must have experience in the following disciplines: family systems theory, developmental psychology, high conflict divorce resolution techniques including mediation, children adjustment issues specific to divorce including parental alienation, domestic abuse, and knowledge of the legal facets of divorce.
The court may appoint a parenting coordinator to a family case to assist high conflict parents with compliance with court orders concerning shared parenting. The court may appoint a parenting coordinator when:
The parties may agree upon a parenting coordinator who meets the qualifications or someone who, in the opinion of the parties and upon approval by the court, is otherwise qualified by training or expertise to serve as parenting coordinator for the case.
The Parenting Coordination Administrative Order, forms, procedures, and a list of parenting coordinators who have been trained on the policies and procedures developed by this circuit are available on the Family Division Programs Page.