Parents in Florida who are seeking a child custody order or a modification might be required to participate in parenting coordination. This process, moderated by a qualified parenting coordinator, is used when there are disputes between the parents on child custody issues.
How does parenting coordination work?
When conflicts arise between parents regarding child custody, a judge might order them to complete the parenting coordination process before approving or modifying a child custody order. In such cases, a parenting coordinator will be assigned to the case.
While there is no official certification for parenting coordinator, coordinators are usually health, mental health or law professionals, properly licensed and certified in their professional area and having at least three years of licensed or post-certification experience as well as a training course and training experience on parenting mediation. The coordinator is a neutral party who works with both parents with specific goals in mind, including:
- Educating parents about parenting plans and child custody
- Recommending positive steps in the process to both parents
- Helping parents solve their disputes to create a parenting plan that works for all members of the family
- Helping the parents implement the plan successfully
- Making some decisions related to the child custody case after approval of the court and the parents
Exceptions to the parenting coordination process
Not all child custody cases involving disputes will be eligible for parenting coordination. In cases with a history of domestic violence, the court might not mandate parenting coordination. However, if both parents do want to try to resolve issues through the process and formally agree to parenting coordination freely, the court can then mandate the use of the process.
The goal in any child custody proceeding is to ensure the well-being of the child. In most cases, this is best accomplished when both parents can compromise and work together.