FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
1) What is a Parenting Coordinator?
A Parenting Coordinator ("PC") is a neutral third party who helps separated or divorced high conflict parents resolve child-related disagreements outside of court. In the short run, the purpose of getting a PC involved in such cases is to avoid multiple court appearances. In the long run, the hope is that the PC can help reduce the parental conflict which surrounds their decision making.
2) What is the purpose of Parenting Coordination?
The PC may be ordered in family law cases in which parents experience difficulties in dealing with one another in parenting their minor children, in order to help them develop, modify, and implement their parenting plan, monitor compliance with the details of their time-sharing arrangement, and help them resolve their child-related disputes in a timely manner. The PC may provide education about effective co-parenting strategies, and may refer the parties to community resources for services and treatment, if necessary. When the parties agree, the court order gives the PC the authority to make temporary decisions on child-related issues in order to immediately relax the parents’ conflict. These decisions may not be substantive in nature, and must be within the scope of the court’s order of referral.
Furthermore, a PC should:a) assist the parties in achieving a smooth running parenting plan with minimum conflict and where agreed upon, recommending to the Court modifications to a parenting plan to better achieve the desired contact between the child(ren) and their parents or guardians;b) help parents devise a parenting plan that will assist the parents or guardians to reduce the trauma the children experience in high conflict family situations and to assist the Court to find a workable temporary or permanent parenting plan that accommodates the needs and abilities of the children and their parents or guardians; andc) maintain an appropriate demeanor, preserving confidentiality within the confines of the Court Order, and to promote awareness by the parents/guardians of the best interests of their child(ren).
3) How does a Parenting Coordinator ("PC") get involved in my case?
The Family Court Services Unit of the Administrative Office of the Court is responsible for all court ordered referrals to PCs in the 11th Judicial Circuit. As per the Order, both parties must contact Family Court Services, who will provide the referral, coordinate the process, and monitor compliance for the court. Family Court Services has compiled a list of PCs which includes professionals who have met the current statutory requirements and taken a four hour specific training on procedures and protocols regarding the practice of parenting coordination in this circuit. When contacting Family Court Services, the parties may provide the name of a PC of their choice or will be given the opportunity to select a parenting coordinator from the Family Court Services PC Resource List. If the parties do not agree to a specific PC, Family Court Services will choose one for them based upon location, language, affordability, and other factors related to the parties. For parties that are indigent, the court may indicate that Family Court Services will provide parenting coordination directly, in which case no fee is required.
For more information please contact Andrew Yagoda and/or please contact:
Family Court Services
11th Judicial Circuit of Florida
175 NW 1st Avenue, 15th Floor
Miami Florida 33128
Phone: 305-349-5575/Fax: 305-349-5634
4) What a Parenting Coordinator ("PC") IS NOT:
- The PC is NOT a custody evaluator.
- The PC is NOT obligated to provide a crisis service and may limit the contact with the parents/guardians to his/her normal working hours.
- The PC is NOT a representative or attorney for either party/parent.