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  • Writer's pictureSummers Family Law

Co-Parenting Made Easier: The Benefits of Working with a Parenting Coordinator

As a seasoned family law attorney in Massachusetts, I've witnessed firsthand the challenges that parents face when navigating the complexities of co-parenting, especially in high-conflict situations. Divorce and separation can be emotionally taxing, not only for the parents but also for the children caught in the middle. That's where parenting coordinators come in – these trained professionals can be a lifeline for families struggling to find a way forward.

What is a Parenting Coordinator?

Parenting coordinators (PCs) are experienced professionals who specialize in helping parents resolve disputes related to child-rearing. In Massachusetts, PCs are typically well-versed in family law, mediation, or mental health and have undergone training to qualify for this role. Their primary goal is to minimize children's exposure to parental conflict and facilitate effective co-parenting.

How Can a Parenting Coordinator Help Your Family?

As a divorce attorney, I often recommend parenting coordinators to my clients because I've seen the positive impact they can have on families. Here are some ways a PC can help:

  • Facilitating communication: PCs are skilled at helping parents communicate more effectively, even in high-conflict situations. They can assist in implementing and adhering to parenting plans, reducing misunderstandings and conflicts.

  • Resolving day-to-day issues: From adjusting parenting schedules to making decisions about extracurricular activities, PCs can help parents navigate the daily challenges of co-parenting without resorting to court intervention.

  • Educating parents: PCs can provide valuable insights into the impact of parental conflict on children and offer strategies for creating a more stable, nurturing environment for them.

  • Reducing legal costs: By helping parents resolve disputes outside of court, PCs can save families significant time, money, and emotional stress associated with frequent court appearances.

It's important to note that while PCs can make recommendations and, in some cases, decisions on day-to-day matters (if granted authority by the parents), they cannot change legal or physical custody arrangements. Any significant changes must be approved by a judge.

How to Work with a Parenting Coordinator

Parenting coordinators can be appointed by mutual agreement of the parents or by court order. When engaging a PC, it's crucial to clearly define their scope of authority and the duration of their appointment to avoid misunderstandings. As a family law attorney, I work closely with my clients to ensure that the terms of engagement with a PC are clearly outlined and align with their unique needs and goals.

The Bottom Line

Divorce and separation can be difficult for families, but working with a parenting coordinator can provide a less adversarial path forward. By facilitating communication, resolving conflicts, and keeping the focus on the children's best interests, PCs play a vital role in supporting the development of healthier post-separation family dynamics. If you're struggling with co-parenting challenges, consider reaching out to a experienced family law attorney to discuss how a parenting coordinator may be able to help your family thrive.

Disclaimer: The content provided in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice and readers should not act upon any information provided without seeking professional legal counsel. The author does not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information provided. This blog is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader.

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