Many divorcing or divorced families need the help of an impartial third party to help facilitate the day-to-day or more major decisions involved in co-parenting during or after divorce. The goal of parent coordination is to improve the quality of the parental relationship by minimizing conflict, and most of all, to keep the children out of adult disputes. The parenting coordinator is not employed for the benefit of either parent but rather for the benefit of the children.
Depending on your type of issues, the parent coordinator is usually appointed by court order, or by consent of the parties. The level of engagement of the parenting coordinator will depend on the specific order appointing the coordinator, and the needs of the parents. A parent coordinator might formalize a detailed parenting plan, address issues of discipline, transitions between homes, decision-making procedures, communication, college, or even compliance with existing court orders.
Elizabeth Smith, Esq., MSW is a trained parenting coordinator (and on the approved list of the Mercer County Family Court), lawyer and social worker. Ms. Smith was formally trained in parenting coordination by the Cooperative Parenting Institute. Most of her parent coordinating cases are referred by other attorneys, who prepare a parent coordinating order by consent.