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Can parenting coordinators help resolve child custody disputes?

Unfortunately, divorce can often have a profound effect on the best interests of the child. That may be because of the bitterness that develops between estranged spouses when they are either in the middle of a divorce proceeding or after the divorce is granted. Experts suggest that in high-conflict divorces such as those, appointing a parenting coordinator may be helpful.

In many cases, parents who are in conflict with each other but who still have a deep underlying concern for their child's best interests may consider working with a parenting coordinator. However, it may also be the case that a court appoints a parenting coordinator if it determines that a coordinator's help may resolve the child custody dispute amicably. As far as the role of the parenting coordinator is concerned, it varies from case to cases based on what the separating parents want or what the court order specifies.

It is important to remember that a parenting coordinator does not represent either parent. Instead, the parenting coordinator works as a guide who can help estranged spouses set their personal conflicts aside and concentrate on the health and well being of their child. Sometimes, however, parenting coordinators are asked to make some crucial decisions if the divorcing parents are unable to reach a reasonable settlement owing to the conflict that exists between them over various issues.

Parenting coordinators often play an integral part in resolving a variety of child custody and visitation-related disputes. This is because they are able to view the situation from a neutral point of view, which enables them to focus on the best interests of the child, unlike warring parents, who may have vested interests that result from individual wants and needs during and after the divorce.

Source: Huffington Post, "Parenting Coordinators: Helping Parents Through High-Conflict Custody Cases", Nicole H. Sodoma and Robin Goulet, May 8, 2014

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