When should you seek a Parent Coordinator?
A Parent Coordinator is retained with a written agreement between the parties, or the court may appoint a qualified parenting coordinator. A motion must be filed with the Clerk of Court and served on the other party(ies) to appoint and Parent Coordinator.
When a history of domestic violence is present, a parent coordinator may not be referred unless there is direct consent from both parents. The court will order safeguards to protect the safety of all participants when either party has committed an act of domestic violence as defined in f.s. 741.28, or child abuse as defined in s. 39.01. The court will provide an opportunity to consult with your attorney or domestic violence advocate before accepting each party’s consent.
What is a Parent Coordinator, and what do they do?
A parent coordinator a neutral party in child-focused conflict resolutions. They assist parents in creating parenting plans, implementing these plans, providing education, and making recommendations. With prior approval of the parents and the court, the parent coordinator can make limited decisions within the scope of the court’s order of referral or appointment contract.
Parent coordinators include mental health or legal professionals with mediation training. They are there to protect and sustain safe, healthy, and meaningful parent-child relationships. They monitor compliance with the parenting plan details and resolve parental conflicts promptly.
Is the information confidential in parent coordination?
Similar to mediation, most information between or among the parties and the parent coordinator is confidential during parent coordination sessions. Unless the parties agree, information and evidence about these communications cannot be used in testimonies. However, the following exceptions are allowed:
- Used as identification, authentication, confirmation, or denial of a written agreement entered into by the parties during parenting coordination.
- Necessary to identify an issue for resolution by the court.
- Limited to the subject of a party’s compliance with the order of referral to parenting coordination.
- This includes orders for psychological evaluation, counseling ordered by the court or recommended by a health care provider, or for substance abuse testing or treatment.
- Necessary for protection of any person from future acts of domestic violence (under chapter 741); child abuse, neglect, or abandonment (under chapter 39); or abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an elderly or disabled adult (under chapter 825)
What happens if an agreement cannot be reached?
It’s not often that solutions to contested issues cannot be reached once a parent coordinator is appointed or retained. If no agreement is reached, the issue is set for a mediation and/or hearing, and the parenting coordinator provides input to the judge.
When you are at your worst, we are at our best!
Whether you want to use parent coordination to resolve your legal family law issue, or you are already represented by a lawyer but need to hire a parent coordinator, we can help. If you require a family law mediator, or attorney (lawyer) in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Brevard, or any other county in the state of Florida, call Schwam-Wilcox & Associates at 407-245-7700, or contact us by completing the form below to schedule a consultation.
Our attorneys are here to guide you through dispute resolutions through in-person and virtual appointments over Zoom. Schwam-Wilcox & Associates is a firm you can trust, and our attorneys are ready to help you with your legal needs. The main office is conveniently located near Winter Park in Altamonte Springs, with appointments also available in The Villages. When you’re going through your worst, we are at our best!