Parenting coordinators as resource in custody cases
A previous post on this blog talked about how a guardian ad litem can be a valuable resource to fathers, as well as mothers, when it comes to solving a child custody case. This blog has also mentioned that mediation is a good way for parents to work out their issues regarding child custody and parenting time outside of court.
Yet another resource Springfield, Illinois, parents can use when working through a child custody dispute is a parenting coordinator. A parenting coordinator is not the same as a guardian ad litem or custody mediator, but they do many of the same things.
A different court system in Illinois describes the role of a parenting coordinator very well in one of its rules. Basically, parenting coordinators work best in situations where the primary problem is high conflict between the parents. Unlike mediators and guardians ad litem, a parenting coordinator will usually remain involved in the case long-term. This is so the coordinator is available to help when additional issues arise between the parents who, for whatever reason, find themselves unable to get along.
The parenting coordinator serves three basic functions. First, the coordinator is there to help resolve any immediate, relative minor custody and parenting time issues, such as drop off time, school activities or a holiday schedule. This keeps parents out of court over every little dispute that might come up.
Second, the coordinator is supposed to give the parents tools they need to be able to resolve their own conflicts in the future. In this sense, the ultimate goal of a parenting coordinator is to get the couple to the point where they don’t need a parenting coordinator anymore but can work out their problems amongst themselves.
Finally, a parenting coordinator has the authority to make recommendations to the court about custody and parenting time.
A parenting coordinator is not right for every person’s situation. Whether a parenting coordinator is a good idea in a given case is a question best answered by a family law attorney.