Sometimes in contentious divorce cases where parents cannot agree on a parenting plan for their children, a family law court in Florida will assign a parenting coordinator to help a couple resolve disputes regarding parenting decisions.
A parenting plan is required for parents who are going to share joint legal custody of their children. The plan covers decisions in areas of visitation, vacation, education and other activities.
A parenting coordinator must be qualified under Florida state statute and is held to strict standards as to what their roles are. A parenting coordinator essentially is a neutral third-party that has been assigned to assist a couple in forming a parenting plan. All parent coordinators in Florida are Supreme Court Certified Mediators.
If you have been assigned to the Parenting Coordination program, know that this is not a free program. Parenting coordination program fees are determined by the court (for instance, an initial two-hour session in Orange County is $160). However, the court cannot force you into the program without your consent if it has been determined that you do not have the ability to pay the parent coordination fees.
Once in the program, the sessions are confidential. There is no real need for a parenting coordinator to meet with your children since he or she is dealing with disputes between the parents. If a parenting coordinator asks to meet with your children, do not give them permission to do so without first consulting with your attorney.
If you are having issues with a parenting coordinator, it is important that you also consult with your attorney. He or she can act as an intermediary for you. Remember that once a parenting coordinator makes a decision, it is highly unlikely that it will be reversed.
Ultimately, the family law attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville would hope that parents will see that involving a parenting coordinator in a divorce case involves a lot of extra time and extra money and will decide to resolve the issues that they are having amongst themselves.
Are you going through a divorce and have questions regarding your child custody rights? Call Farah & Farah at (800) 533-3555 for a free case evaluation or simply contact us online set up an appointment to speak to one of our knowledgeable family law attorneys.