A Parenting Coordinator becomes involved with a family when the parents are just not able to get along well enough to parent their children effectively. It’s as simple as that.
The court may have flagged the parents as “high conflict”: angry, hostile, and unable to agree on anything. Or a family therapist may have suggested a Parenting Coordinator after months of work have failed to produce any progress in developing a parenting plan. Do any of these high-conflict behaviors sound familiar to you?
• Holding back or delaying support payments
• Changing divorce lawyers often
• Taking lots of non-legal issues to court
• Refusing to give the other parent information about the children’s health, schooling, or other activities
• Last-minute changes in plans designed to make it hard for the other parent
• Distrust of the other parent
• Bitter anger at the other parent
• Constant arguing about things that can’t be proved
• False reports to police and courts about drug use, violence, or criminal activity
When a court, therapist, or lawyer sees these red flags, the result may be a referral to a Parenting Coordinator. Many courts have “early warning” systems set up to help families limit conflict and encourage cooperation. This keeps parents out of the court system except as really needed, and not for nuisance issues. The benefits extend to areas other than legal, as well. The Parenting Coordinator becomes the GPS for the family, helping to set a plan to keep the children on track.
From COPARENTING AFTER DIVORCE: A GPS FOR HEALTHY KIDS by Debra K. Carter, PhD.