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Florida's use of parent coordinators in divorce situations

Simply because parents are divorced does not end their obligations to work with each other in the best interest of the child. Contention between the parents will ultimately hurt the child. It's because of this that Florida legislators have allowed for judges to appoint a parent coordinator that can mediate disputes after the divorce has been finalized.

Such a parent coordinator will work with parents in creating a written plan as to how the child should be raised. It's the goal of this parent coordinator to reduce conflict as much as possible.

It needs to be stressed that a parent coordinator will not do the work of the parent. Actually working out the terms of a parenting plan will mean that a parent needs to drive the child to school, participate in extracurricular activities, help out with homework and in general spend more time with the child. The parents will also still need to work out any financial decisions that need to be made pertaining to the raising of the child.

Legislators and courts are more and more seeing the need for alternative ways of addressing divorce, child custody and visitation issues. What approach works best is completely dependent upon the unique circumstances regarding every family. For minor disagreements, an approach like mediation may work. For irreconcilable problems, it's possible that it will only be resolved in court.

Parents may first wish to discuss this matter with their family law attorney before deciding whether a parent coordinator would be best for them and their child.

Source: Sun Sentinel, "Mediation for divorced parents who just can't agree," by Marci Shatzman, August 15, 2012

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