Why Family Law Attorneys Should Hire a Parent Coordinator
Family law is a rewarding practice. Most family law attorneys—including myself—love what we do because we help people get through a difficult time and see a future on the other side of their case. We are in the trenches with our clients, advocating with them throughout the entire process. And we get to see them move on to the next chapter of their life, hopefully in a better place than where they started.
At the same time, family law can be exhausting. Divorce, child support, and the ever-changing custody agreements can sometimes become overwhelming. We are often left mitigating disagreements about every little detail in their children’s lives. That is where Parent Coordinators come to save the day.
A few years ago, I hired a Parent Coordinator for one of my clients. My client and her ex could not agree on anything that had to do with their children. As the phone calls came in and the emails continued to flood my inbox, I needed help. I suggested that she hire a Parent Coordinator. The Parent Coordinator was able to help them come to resolutions on day-to-day disputes and free up my time to focus on the larger issues in their case.
My experience with the Parent Coordinator completely changed my perspective on how to handle custody disputes moving forward. I was even inspired to become a certified Parent Coordinator myself and have thoroughly enjoyed providing this service in addition to my law practice.
What is a Parent Coordinator?
Parent Coordinators (or “PCs”) are non-confidential, impartial individuals trained to assist parties to resolve parenting conflicts outside of court. PCs help resolve day-to-day disagreements between parents, focusing on swift resolutions and allowing both parents to move forward.
Parents give PCs the authority to make some decisions if they reach an impasse. A PC can resolve disputes regarding minor modifications to an existing access schedule, the selection of extracurricular activities, and other pressing, time-sensitive matters that cannot wait for a court hearing. A PC cannot make decisions regarding legal or physical custody, but they can help the parents facilitate a discussion in the hopes that they can resolve these issues.
What are the Benefits of Hiring a Parent Coordinator?
Parent Coordinators handle the day-to-day disputes clients have with their ex, so lawyers can focus on the bigger picture items. They are trained specifically to handle high-conflict families in making time-sensitive decisions, like deciding on school schedules and how to handle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parent Coordination is the perfect solution for clients that call and email you regularly to handle minor disputes and disagreements with their ex.
Parent Coordination is also beneficial for your client. Parent Coordination provides a time and place for parents to meet and resolve day-to-day disputes. The overarching goal is to reduce the effects of conflict on the parents’ children. A PC will also save considerable time, energy, and legal fees—all while removing your children from the effects of conflict.
How qualified is a Parent Coordinator?
To become a certified Parent Coordinator in the state of Maryland, I completed a minimum of 100 hours of specialized training, including 60 hours of mediation training. I also have to complete continuing education credits to remain certified. The training taught us how to minimize conflict and help parents come to a shared decision.
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