When two parties are in constant conflict with one another, it may seem that the only option is for the parties to have a monthly recurring appointment at the courthouse. As we know, this is not a realistic option, but what are parties supposed to do if there is constant, weekly conflict? Perhaps, the parties should consider using the services of a Parenting Coordinator.
A parenting coordinator assists with the implementation of current court orders, and makes recommendations to the Court regarding clarification, modifications, and enforcement of current Court orders.
Our judges do a fantastic job of trying to ensure that all orders are clear and create the framework as to how the parties are to resolve parenting disputes. However, even if the Court were to draft 100+ page ruling, there would be no way for the Court to map out what the parties are to do in each and every scenario.
For example, let's consider what would happen if little Johnny had a championship soccer tournament that was set to occur during Father's regularly scheduled parenting time, but this also happened to be the same weekend as Mother's family reunion. In this type of situation, the parenting coordinator would work with the parents to see if there is any sort of compromise on this issue and review the history of this case and clarify any existing court orders. This is an example of how a parenting coordinator could assist the parties in coming to an agreement on issues where there is an unforeseen conflict. Normally, parties tend to want to appear more willing to compromise given the fact that they are aware that the parenting coordinator is given leave to submit recommendations to the Court. In other words, some parties have a tendency to treat the other party with a tad more respect if they feel they are being “watched” by the parenting coordinator.
The benefit of using the Parenting Coordinator is that the parties do not have to run to court when conflict arises. The parties will likely save money, time, and energy they would have spent filing court documents and appearing in court. Ultimately, a Parenting Coordinator's goal should be to help the parties comply with Court orders and serve the minor children's best interests.