What is a Parenting Coordinator?
By Michelle Rozen, a Parenting Coordinator in NYC, Northern NJ, Westchester County NY, and Southern CT.
A Parenting Coordinator is a neutral professional, appointed by the Court or chosen by the parties for cases of high conflict post divorce cases, where there is great difficulty in co- parenting. This is a professional who is both a therapist and a mediator, familiar with family law as well as with psychotherapy or mental health counseling and with the field of Conflict Resolution.
Parenting Coordinators must be experienced and well-trained in child development and in what constitutes an appropriate visitation schedule.
Parenting Coordinators are not usually lawyers and do not give out legal advice, but must have knowledge of the legal process and a working knowledge of family law.
The Parenting Coordinator works directly and openly with both parents to help them communicate more effectively and to try and avoid and/or immediately resolve conflicts around child-related issues that come up.
Most cases seem to benefit from opinions and guidance from Parenting Coordinators who help make communication more effective. In addition, the Parenting Coordinator mediates issues and when the parents are unable to agree, the parenting coordinator is often given the power to arbitrate (decide) what the result should be.
Ultimately, the court has the final say over child custody and visitation issues, but a Parenting Coordinator can drastically reduce the need to go to court and therefore reduce conflict for the child in that family
The most significant impact that a parenting coordinator makes is in ultimately fostering communication and problem-solving skills between the parents. This, in addition to helping parents to recognize some of the underlying issues that cause parental conflict
It must be remembered that the Parenting Coordinator may report as necessary to the court.
The Parenting Coordinator can also be a facilitator between parents in issues where there is a difference of opinion.
The Parenting Coordinator can in some cases determine when, or if, a child is ready, equipped for, prepared for and or disposed to an increase in visitation.
The Parenting Coordinator develops with the parents a detailed parenting plan, which is agreed to by all parties. While flexibility allows for more room in making transitions easier for children, sometimes the more detailed the plan, the less room there is for conflict.
Michelle Rozen is an experienced, highly trained mediator and parenting coordinator, a PhD candidate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a specialty in family related conflict management, and a Family Therapist. A member of the American Association of Conflict Resolution. Michelle’s goal oriented, solution focused personality and parenting coordination style has helped many divorced or separated couples improve their co-parenting in order to allow their kids to thrive in spite of the divorce. Michelle Rozen’s private practices for Parenting Coordination are located in Midtown NYC, Bergen County NJ (covering Bergen County, Essex County, Morris County, and Union County), Monmouth County NJ, Norwalk CT and Westchester county NY.