The use of Parenting Coordinators is a fairly new and novel way to help manage high-conflict custody cases where the parents have proven themselves unable to resolve disputes on their own regarding parenting and visitation issues. When a Parent Coordinator is agreed upon, parents hire a clinician to essentially mediate, but ultimately arbitrate, ongoing child-related disputes either by private agreement or through incorporation by consent into a court order.
Helping Clients Explore Parent Coordinator As An Option
To help resolve disputes, the Parent Coordinator works directly with the parents to help them communicate more effectively and avoid conflicts about child-related issues. Parents who are constantly in court about child-related issues (albeit visitation or decision-making issues regarding the upbringing of the children) might reduce the need for adversarial proceedings in court by having a Parent Coordinator. Explained another way, the Parent Coordinator mediates issues, and when the parents are unable to agree, the Parent Coordinator is given the power to make a final decision when the parents cannot agree.
Ultimately, the court has the final say over child custody and visitation issues, but a Parenting Coordinator can drastically reduce the need to go to court, which can help reduce conflict for the children in families involved in such disputes. Ultimately, a Parent Coordinator can only be enlisted by consent of the parties. As the law currently stands in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas, the Court cannot order it unless both parties agree. However, in Oklahoma, the Court can order it in high-conflict cases.
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You can also listen to our podcast on this topic titled: Use of Parent Coordinators.
Contact Our Child Custody Lawyers in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma
If you are interested in exploring whether a Parent Coordinator would be a good fit for your family, please get in touch with our knowledgeable lawyers by calling or contacting us online. Our attorneys are ready to assist you with a full range of domestic relations matters. We have offices throughout Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma in the Midwest in cities like St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield, Tulsa, Wichita and beyond.