Florida Timesharing Disputes: Understanding the Role of Parenting Coordinators
In Florida, if you are going through a child-related family law dispute, you may end up working with a parenting coordinator. Parenting coordinators are neutral parties. These trained professionals may be able to help your family work together to find a solution that is best for everyone involved. Most often, parenting coordinators are used in circumstances that are especially prone to high levels of conflict. The goal of the parenting coordinator is to help parents prone to conflict find productive ways to create the best possible environment for the child. After all, under Florida law, the best interests of the child should come above all else.
What Can a Parenting Coordinator Do?
It is important to note that parenting coordinators are mental health professionals. Under Florida law, a person needs a license to become a parenting coordinator. Further, it is generally required that all coordinators possess a master’s degree in a relevant mental health field. They will also likely carry a family mediation certification. Using this type of training, coordinators work hard to find collaborative solutions to conflicts involving parents and children. Parenting coordinators have many different tools at their disposal. Some specific examples of things that they can do include:
- Consulting with knowledgeable third parties; such as relatives, teachers and neighbors in order to help better understand the family dynamics in a specific case;
- Setting up both collaborative and individual conferences with a family members;
- Mediating any disagreements;
- Teaching parents and children communication skills as well as dispute resolution skills;
- Providing counseling to all parties;
- Monitoring the progress that is being made;
- Reporting any issues to the court; and
- Making recommendations to the court based on their observations.
What Can’t a Parenting Coordinator Do?
They cannot act as your attorney. While parenting coordinators do have some basic family law training, they are still mental professionals. A parenting coordinator will not be able to protect your legal rights. They will also not be able to represent your parental interests. It is also important to remember that they are set up as a neutral party. They will not be on your side. Further, in some cases, their reports or recommendations to the court may be completely unfair to you. This may be because they are biased against you, or because your child’s other parent gave them misinformation. Regardless, you will need legal protection from a qualified lawyer. There is nothing more important than your child. Your parental rights must always be vigorously protected. While collaborative family law solutions are ideal, your relationship with your child should never take a back seat. If a dispute arises, and you feel that your rights are being abridged in any way, you need to speak to an experienced child custody attorney immediately.
Contact Our Office Today
At the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., our experienced Florida child custody team is committed to helping you find the right solution for your family. We are also committed to aggressively protecting the parental rights of our clients. If you have any questions about child custody or child time sharing arrangements, please contact our office today at (407) 521-7171 to find out how we can help you.