People with children who have separated or divorced have gone through a restructuring of their family. In all families – separated or not – parents can differ about what is best for their children. The challenge is to find a resolution that works for you, your child’s other parent and, most importantly, for your child(ren). When parenting conflicts arise, we can help you to resolve them so that you can all move forward as smoothly as possible.
Rachel has trained as a parenting coordinator in a court-sanctioned process designed to help you to deal with and resolve post-divorce or separation conflicts relating to your children. We are committed to empowering and supporting co-parents in their new roles, and helping them to put the court’s Order, or the terms of your stipulation or parenting agreement, into effect with fewer conflicts – more smoothly.
What is Parenting Coordination?
The goals of Parenting Coordination are two-fold: first, to help you to figure out ways to work more smoothly with your ex; and second, to help to keep you out of the courts, in order to preserve your assets, and to try to lower everyone’s stress.
The PC process does not take your attorney away; in fact your attorney is one of your primary advisers, and he or she can very much support the PC process, and be a determining factor as to whether it succeeds or fails. There may be times that you will want to consult your attorney, to explore options, during the PC process.
Most often, a Parent Coordinator is appointed by the court. Sometimes families decide to enter into a relationship with a PC, in order to have a process in place for resolving future issues which may arise about the children.
We keep the focus on the children as much as possible. Research shows that the most damaging aspect of divorce for children is the exposure to conflict between parents. The goal of the parenting coordination process is to work on living according to your court-ordered or agreed-to parenting plan. If we can figure out how to do that, it will benefit your children by diminishing the amount of conflict to which they are exposed.
What do Parenting Cooordinators Do?
The first step in the process will be for each of you to meet individually with your parent coordinator. I will ask you to tell me about the history of your children, your family, as well as ask you to brainstorm about what kinds of things have worked in the past, and what your ideas are about how to approach your ex, going forward. I will want to understand your unique circumstances, the terms of your stipulation or court order, and the history of your family and your conflicts.
If relevant, I may consult with other professionals who have worked with your family in the past, including lawyers, therapists, teachers and others, in order to gather background information. Please rest assured – the focus during these conversations will be for me to explain the PC process, and to find out how these professionals can assist and support our process, so that things go as smoothly as possible.
After these initial meetings we will usually all meet together, as long as that is appropriate for your family, and is constructive for the process. My goal will be (a) to support each of you in your role as a co-parent and (b) to try to find ways that you can be more effective as a co-parent.
Parenting coordinators, when acting by court order, are authorized to make decisions within their defined scope of their authority, when parents simply cannot do so on their own. However, at ReSolutions, we believe that parents are the most qualified experts on their own children and that they are uniquely suited to make decisions about parenting. My goal is to empower you to make these decisions without my intervention, unless it becomes absolutely necessary.
As a parent coordinators, my role is to be neutral, and to come to as full and deep of an understanding of you and how you see things, what you need to happen; and also, to the extent possible to come to a full and deep understanding of your ex.
We will help you to negotiate minor changes to scheduled parenting time, whether on an on-going basis, or for one time occurrences such as vacations, special events or unforeseen circumstances that arise from time to time, and to help you to smoothly implement your parenting plan. We will not focus on issues, nor make decisions outside of this scope. We also cannot make decisions which impact religion or relocation.
If you or your clients require post-divorce parenting support, parenting coordination or any other post-divorce services, please contact us for more information.