Parenting Coordinator and Decision Maker Services
Does constant bickering with your child’s other parent leave you feeling angry, exhausted, and hopeless? If that is how you feel, imagine what your child must be going through!
When parents are stuck in conflict, it is usually their children that suffer the most harm. Extended litigation depletes parents’ money, time, and energy, but study after study has shown that high-conflict co-parenting can have an even more adverse effect on children’s well-being and chances for future success.
If you are tired of dealing with all of the stress and anxiety that constant fighting, over issues big and small, brings upon your family, you may want to consider asking a court to appoint a parenting coordinator and/or decision maker, commonly known as a “PC/DM.”
A Parenting Coordinator (“PC”) is a neutral professional who can be appointed to help high-conflict co-parents work through their conflicts without having to call upon the court to resolve every disagreement. A PC has to be appointed by the court, either by its own initiative or by approving an agreement of the parties to appoint one.
Once appointed, a PC:
- Assists with implementing the existing parenting plan;
- Provides educational resources as needed;
- Monitors compliance with the details of the parenting plan; and
- Helps manage and resolve child-related disputes in a timely manner.
A PC can be especially effective when parents’ communications are counterproductive to the point that they never seem to solve anything without the court’s help. In such circumstances, a PC will gather information to understand the nature of the parents’ dispute. Using this information, a PC will educate and guide the parents to develop effective negotiation skills and help them reach an agreement on their own. By reaching an agreement through use of the PC, the parties not only eliminate the cost and delay of taking a dispute to court, but can also learn a new, less litigious way to co-parent.
If parents are unable to reach an agreement with the help of their PC, a PC can transition into a Decision Maker role when authorized to do so by the court. The Decision Maker (“DM”) will act as a tiebreaker, within the confines of the existing court orders, and make a formal, written decision regarding the dispute at hand. In many respects, the role of a DM is similar to that of an arbitrator, but the purpose of a DM is more closely aligned with the PC. In both roles, the objective is to minimize animosity and litigiousness between co-parents in the short- and long-term best interests of the children.
As a trained PC/DM, Allison brings to the role her background in Montessori early childhood education and her passion for helping others find more productive and peaceful paths through the difficult moments in their lives. If you are interested in whether a PC and/or DM would be a good fit for your case, please contact us to schedule a free consultation today.