When divorced or divorcing parents don’t agree on making major decisions about their child, and conflict is heightened, a parent coordinator can be appointed to resolve conflicts. The parent coordinator helps the couple learn to coparent effectively and ultimately make final decisions if needed. The professionals at Atlanta Behavioral Consultants have experience in serving as parent coordinators who have been appointed though a consent order, or by order directly from a judge. Parent coordinators generally work with both parents, getting updates about the health of coparenting relationship, problems with interactions between and couple, and decisions that the couple is having a difficult time coming to agreement over. Parent Coordinators assist the couple in resolving their disputes. In many cases the court order appointing a parent coordinator will specify areas that the parent coordinator can serve as an arbitrator.
Depending on the court order, the parent coordinator will be able to make minor changes to the parenting time schedule in order to deal with unforeseen activities that come up requiring a temporary change or deviation from the parenting plan. Generally these issues are specific to vacations, holidays, and extracurricular activities of the child.
In cases where the parent coordinator is appointed to serve as an arbitrator, the parent coordinator ultimately has final decision making over the specific areas of conflict specified in the court order. These decision making areas could include health, education, religion, and extracurricular activities. The parent coordinator first tries to get the couple to resolve the dispute through open communication and difficult conversations. If that does not resolve the conflict, the parent coordinator can make a legally binding decision.
To learn more about parent coordinators and parent coordination in general contact Marsha Schechtman, LCSW at 770.753.4911 or Howard Drutman, Ph.D. at 678.867.7020.