Getting divorced when you and the other party share children adds a level of complication to the legal proceedings. It also means there are several different parties involved in child custody decisions.
In Maryland, judges are instructed to consider “the best interests of the child” in determining child custody arrangements. This means understanding the unique dynamics of each family to come up with a custody order and schedule that best support the children now and in the future. As a result, the court might involve a parenting coordinator in your Maryland child custody case.
What is a Parenting Coordinator?
A parenting coordinator is a mental health professional but is not someone who serves in a traditional clinical role. This means they do not perform psychological tests, serve evaluations, or give therapy. They leverage their experience in mental health to help both parents work together in a productive and positive manner.
They can mediate conflicts between the two parents as it relates to child custody, visitation, and schedules. In many cases, a parenting coordinator can be especially helpful for creating a communication plan so that both parties can discuss needs of the children.
The parenting coordinator can offer guidance, support, and coaching to the parent. It is in the best interests of both parents to be prepared to work with a parenting coordinator and to approach all their interactions with this person in a calm and professional manner. Ultimately, this can reduce friction and can make things easier for children during the difficult time period of divorce.
When is a Parenting Coordinator Most Likely Assigned?
You always have the option of requesting a parenting coordinator if you want one in your family court case. The court might also order you to use one.
Most of the time, a parenting coordinator is assigned in a Maryland family court case when there is a high level of conflict between the parents. When that conflict is ongoing, a parenting coordinator may be appointed by the judge.
The primary purpose of the parenting coordinator is to help parents understand and comply with court orders and parenting plans, to work together to make decisions relating to the children, and to reduce conflicts and disputes.
If you have more questions about working with a parenting coordinator or the other professionals who might be a part of your court case, contact Allyson Goldscher today.