Hello, my name is Daphna Schwartz and I am a lawyer with the Feldstein Family Law Group. Today, I would like to discuss the benefits of using parenting-coordinators in dispute resolution for parents who have separated.
Custody battles can often become overwhelming and transform day-to-day life decisions into serious, high conflict disagreements. Parenting-coordinators can assist in avoiding the costly consequences of litigating these issues in court. As effective mediators, they can turn many situations into one that benefits all parties. Here are three key advantages to using the services of a parenting-coordinator.
The first advantage is: “Improved Long-Term Communication”. As unbiased, third-party mediators, parenting-coordinators provide a neutral environment for parents to resolve child-related disputes. Having a neutral ground that is isolated from the emotional hurt and hostility of their own relationship conflicts allows parents to focus on finding a resolution. For example, a number of high-conflict child-related disputes arise from breaches of access orders. Parenting-coordinators can help avoid breaches by facilitating healthy communication between parents and resolving underlying problems to create a solution. If the parents are unable to reach an agreement on their own, they can give the parenting-coordinators the ability to make a decision for them. This final decision not only immediately resolves the conflict, but also gives the parties an incentive to develop communication skills that will assist them to reach their own solutions.
The second advantage is the “Reduced Costs Associated with Going to Court – Conflict, Stress, and Money”. Aside from being costly in time and money, litigation is emotionally and psychologically taxing. Parents working with parenting-coordinators develop a conflict resolution routine that helps them avoid lengthy court battles as they learn to effectively communicate and cooperate. Through this routine, stress arising from mundane conflicts over children decreases overtime; parents become accustomed to settling disagreements and making decisions together. As parenting-coordinators work directly with parents, parties spend less time and money dealing with counsel and going to court. By facilitating conflict resolution outside of court processes and minimal assistance from lawyers, parenting-coordinators can reduce the overall financial burden of post-separation conflicts.
The last and most important advantage is that “Children know they are important and loved”. One of the biggest benefits of engaging a parenting-coordinator is that they keep parents focused on the needs of their children. Separation and divorce is highly stressful and disruptive for children as their lives are often completely reorganized. When parents butt heads over mundane issues like pick up and drop off times, children suffer in the crossfire. In post-separation, many children need to know that these parental feuds are not their fault. Parenting-coordinators help minimize the trauma experienced by children when parents fight over them by enabling parents to make appropriate decisions in their children’s best interests.
Altogether, the benefits of using parenting-coordinators, creates a win-win scenario for parents and children in post-separation and divorce contexts.
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