Child custody and co-parenting issues can be amongst the most fought over legal issues in a divorce. Sadly, when parents can’t come to an agreement regarding these issues the matter is left to a judge to make important decisions. This means that an individual who knows very little about the parties and the child will make living and visitation arrangements that can completely reshape a child’s relationship with his or her child. For this reason, it is advisable to seek a peaceful resolution to these matters outside of court if at all possible.
One way this can be accomplished is through the utilization of a parenting coordinator. These professionals provide an alternative dispute resolution process whereby disagreeing parents can seek to remedy their issues through education and recommendations provided by an outside individual. The goal of this process is to reach an agreement on a parenting plan that supports the child’s best interest.
This parenting coordinator is impartial and must meet certain qualifications. This individual must be a licensed mental health professional, physician, a certified family law mediator with a master’s degree or higher in mental health, or a member of The Florida Bar in good standing. Additionally, this individual must have completed a 24 hour parenting coordination training program, a mediator training, and have at least three years’ worth of experience post-licensure.
These parenting coordinators can play a significant role in the family law process, which is why Floridians need to try to use them to their advantage. These individuals can wind up testifying in court, too, if matters do not settle out of court. Therefore, when addressing child custody, visitation, and co-parenting issues, Florida parents need to be knowledgeable about the system and how to utilize it effectively while at the same time keeping an eye on how to build a solid case for litigation purposes.