In high conflict divorces where parents are unable to work together to make decisions regarding their children it is possible to involve a parenting coordinator.
Parenting coordinators can be retained by the parents voluntarily or a court can order that a parenting coordinator be retained.
When a parenting coordinator is retained the parents sign a contract which states that the parents must communicate through the parenting coordinator and not directly with each other. The parenting coordinator will enforce an existing parenting schedule and will have the ability not to change the schedule but to make all of the smaller decisions that are required to implement the schedule if the parents cannot agree.
Parents are bound by the process usually for one or two years and they are not able to opt out of the process.
Once a parenting coordinator is in place all emails and communications go through the parenting coordinator and the parenting coordinator will charge an hourly rate for their services.
The parenting coordinator will try to assist the parents and teach them how to communicate more effectively. If one or both parents persist in communicating in unhelpful ways the parenting coordinator can require the unhelpful parent to bear more than half of the parenting coordinator’s fees.
Because parenting coordinators can be very expensive they are only used in extreme cases where the parents are unable to communicate directly with each other in a civilized and effective way.
Deborah A. Todd