When parents divorce, battles over the children are common. In Texas, when parents can’t seem to agree on the basics when it comes to their children’s future, the court may assign a parenting coordinator to help.
A parenting coordinator is a neutral third party who works with both parents to learn more about the family’s dynamics and facilitate positive resolutions to conflicts over the kids. Sometimes they meet privately with each parent in addition to joint meetings.
What sort of things can a parenting coordinator do?
The parenting coordinator cannot override the court’s orders, nor do they take over the court’s role as the sole authority to determine issues of conservatorships, possession and access and support.
They can, however, do the following things:
- Help each parent identify their priorities and the issues that are most disputed
- Facilitate communication that can resolve misunderstandings
- Suggest alternative solutions to specific problems or sticking points
- Help the parents learn to collaborate as a team for the sake of the children
- Assist the parents with conflict management and parenting skills
- Help both parents understand their parenting plan and how to comply with it
If the final parenting plan isn’t in place, the parenting coordinator can be an invaluable resource. They can, quite often, offer a voice of experience that will help parents better recognize what will and will not work for their family as a whole.
It’s worth noting that couples can hire a parenting coordinator on their own, if they so choose. If you’re in a high-conflict situation, it may be wiser to consider this option before the court imposes it.
Ultimately, every parent wants to protect their children and make sure they preserve the precious parent-child relationship. Learning more about your legal options is the first step.