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St. Louis Parenting Coordinator

Emotions run high, and communication can break down when parents go through a divorce or custody battle. The strain of ending a relationship, dividing assets, and determining living arrangements for children creates an incredibly stressful situation. When couples can’t see eye-to-eye, a St. Louis parenting coordinator steps in to help facilitate effective co-parenting.

A parenting coordinator is an impartial third-party professional, typically an attorney or counselor, who works with divorced or separated parents. Their role is to promote productive communication between Mom and Dad on all child-related matters – parenting schedules, exchanges, decisions about education or healthcare, and more.

Rather than letting disagreements fester or letting the courts decide, a parenting coordinator provides a structured process for parents to resolve conflicts. This protects the emotional well-being of children by allowing focused, child-centric decision-making during and after the difficult split.

What is Parent Coordination in Missouri?

Under Missouri law, there are a variety of family law circumstances that involve child custody issues and child custody disputes, from divorce to paternity. In many of those cases, there is substantial conflict between the parents that threatens the child’s well-being.

Even if you are going through a high-conflict child custody case or your ex refuses to comply with a child custody order and existing parenting plan, it is important to know that parent coordination may be able to help improve communication with your ex and give you an opportunity to resolve custody issues peacefully without going back to Court for litigation.

Parent coordination is a relatively new type of legal process through which a neutral third party, known as a “parent coordinator,” serves as a kind of mediator for the parents. With help from a parent coordinator, the parents can engage in mediated dialogue with one another, with guidance and help from the parent coordinator.

If the parent coordinator cannot help the parents reach an agreement on their issues, the parent coordinator is then given authority to hear the issues from both parties and to make a decision on the issue.

When parents coordinate, they can often improve their communication skills with one another, which can be beneficial in the long term. Indeed, through parent coordination, parents can learn communication skills that they can use when subsequent disputes arise, allowing them to be better co-parents to their kids.

Issues a Parent Coordination Can Help to Resolve

Parent coordinators want to protect children who are caught in a difficult or high-conflict child custody case, and they are also tasked with helping the parents communicate in order to resolve existing disputes. Some of the child custody issues that a parent coordinator can help to resolve include but are not limited to:

  • Scheduling issues for parent drop-off and pick-up;
  • Vacation or holiday schedules;
  • Communication with the child, including issues concerning texting or calling with the other parent or the other parent’s family members;
  • Child’s education;
  • Child’s sports or other extracurricular activities; or
  • Medical care for the child.

Benefits of Working with a St. Louis Parenting Coordinator

When you work with a Raza Family Law Solutions parenting coordinator in St. Louis, you can expect the following:

  • Help in resolving disputes related to parenting and custody issues.
  • Facilitation of effective communication and co-parenting skills.
  • A focus on the best interests of your children.
  • An alternative to costly and time-consuming litigation.
  • A constructive way to resolve disagreements and make decisions.

When working with us, you reduce conflict that often comes with co-parenting after a divorce or separation, saving you stress and money in the long run.

When to Consider Parenting Coordination

You may want to consider parenting coordination if:

  • You’re involved in a high-conflict custody case where you and your co-parent struggle to agree on parenting issues.
  • You prefer the court not to make every co-parenting decision.
  • You need help drafting your parenting plan and custody agreement.
  • Your family has complex dynamics, or communication between you and your ex breaks down.

In these situations, Raza Family Law Solution parenting coordinators provide the guidance and support you need to move forward positively.

Missouri Parenting Coordination Process

The legal process for appointing a parenting coordinator in Missouri typically involves a court order.

The parenting coordinator is often a lawyer with the authority to make decisions within the scope of their appointment, as outlined by the court order.

They work with both parents to resolve disputes, facilitate communication, and ensure compliance with the parenting plan.

In some cases, the parenting coordinator’s recommendations may be legally binding, while in others, they may serve as a guide for the parents and the court.

Parenting Coordination vs. Mediation and Arbitration

Parenting coordination, mediation, and arbitration are all alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods for resolving custody disputes, but they have some key differences:

  • Mediation: A neutral third party helps parents reach agreements through guided discussions. The mediator does not make decisions for the parents.
  • Arbitration: A neutral third party hears both sides of the dispute and makes a legally binding decision. The arbitrator acts as a private judge.
  • Parenting Coordination: A court-appointed professional helps parents implement and comply with their parenting plan, resolving disputes as they arise. The parenting coordinator can make decisions within the scope of their authority.

Each ADR approach may be appropriate in different situations, depending on the level of conflict, the willingness of the parents to cooperate, and the specific issues at hand.

How Raza Family Law Solutions Can Help

Raza Family Law Solutions has many years of experience working through the challenges of co-parenting after a divorce or separation.

Our experienced family law attorneys offer a range of services to clients seeking a parenting coordinator, including:

  • Assistance with the legal process of appointing a parenting coordinator.
  • Representation in parenting coordination sessions.
  • Guidance on implementing parenting coordinator recommendations.
  • Support for high-conflict custody cases.

Raza Family Law Solutions knows that every case is unique, and we tailor our approach to meet the specific needs of each family we serve.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a parent coordinator?

A parent coordinator is a neutral third-party professional, often a lawyer or mental health specialist, who assists divorced or separated parents in resolving conflicts over child-related issues. Their core duties include facilitating open communication, mediating disagreements over schedules or decisions, and helping parents comply with the approved parenting plan and court orders.

Parent coordinators aim to promote the children’s best interests by reducing parental acrimony and allowing productive co-parenting, even in high-conflict situations. They serve as a grounded guide focused on the emotional and developmental needs of the children throughout the family’s transition.

Is there a downside to a parenting coordinator?

While parenting coordinators can be immensely helpful for many families, there are a few potential downsides to consider. First, it does require an additional professional fee that some parents may find burdensome, especially on top of legal fees from the divorce/separation.

There’s also the reality that involving a third-party coordinator means sacrificing some privacy when it comes to discussions about your children. However, most parents feel the benefits of reduced conflict and having an experienced guide greatly outweigh these costs. Additionally, a minority of very high-conflict cases may not be resolved even with a coordinator if one or both parents refuse to cooperate.

What is the difference between a parenting coordinator and a parenting facilitator?

While these roles sound similar, there are some key differences. A parenting facilitator solely helps parents negotiate their initial parenting plan and visitation schedule as part of the divorce agreement. Their job is temporary and ends once that plan is court-approved.

A parenting coordinator, on the other hand, is appointed long-term to help implement and adapt that plan as situations change over the years of co-parenting. Coordinators have broader responsibilities like resolving disputes, scheduling changes, and ensuring both parents follow court orders related to the children.

Find Solutions for High-Conflict Custody Cases with Raza Family Law Solutions

Parenting coordination is a valuable ADR tool for families going through high-conflict custody cases in St. Louis.

Working with a skilled parenting coordinator can reduce conflict, improve communication, and prioritize your children’s best interests. Raza Family Law Solutions helps you find solutions for your unique situation.

If you need parenting coordination for your St. Louis custody case, we encourage you to take the next step and schedule a consultation.

Our family law attorneys will walk you through how parenting coordination may help your family.

Schedule Consultation