Solving Conflict Through Parenting Coordinators
It takes a village a raise a child, but sometimes even a village doesn’t feel like enough support. For parents already struggling to communicate effectively, making decisions regarding their child or children can become even more overwhelming.
Parenting coordinators are individuals appointed by a court or by agreement of the parents to support successful communication, resolve conflicts between parents and assist in decision-making for the child’s best interests.
What is a Parenting Coordinator’s Role?
The parenting coordinator can be a mental health professional, attorney or an individual that has met the qualifications of a mediator with Family Mediation Services
They maintain communication between all members of the household and can address any concerns regarding child(ren) as necessary. Parenting coordinators also:
- Monitor court orders and parental behaviors and report any allegations of noncompliance to the court, if necessary
- Recommend parenting classes, psychotherapy and random drug screens
- Mediate and resolve conflicts between parents
- Produce detailed guidelines or recommending rules for communication
Parenting coordinators are not meant to provide legal opinions and do not have decision-making authority. Instead, they offer support to families and work to resolve their pressing issues outside of the court.
When a Parenting Coordinator is Utilized
The court may appoint a parenting coordinator to support families when it finds the following:
- Parents have failed to adequately cooperate and communicate about issues involving their children or have been unable to implement a parenting plan or parenting schedule
- Mediation has not been successful, or has been deemed inappropriate by a judge
- It is in the best interests of a child or children to appoint a parenting coordinator
Currently, Cook County is the only county in the state of Illinois with a parenting coordinator local rule. Kogut & Wilson attorneys can answer any questions about this relatively new practice.
Kogut & Wilson is an award-winning family law firm based in Chicago with extensive experience representing clients in all aspects of divorce and family law. Understanding the cases we work on are often sensitive, our team of trusted attorneys takes great care to provide personalized and effective approaches to meet clients’ everchanging needs, no matter the complexity.