Parenting Coordination is a child-focused dispute resolution process in which a properly qualified, impartial parent coordinator works with a child’s parents or legal guardians to reduce conflict, implement their Parenting Plan, and protect healthy and meaningful parent-child relationships by educating parents, managing conflict, facilitating resolution of disputes in a timely manner and sometimes making decisions when parents are unable to reach consensus. Florida’s Parenting Coordinator law (Florida Statute 61.125) became effective on October 1, 2009.
Parenting Coordination is recommended when parents have never been able to develop a co-parenting relationship, when they are unable to make decisions together and the children are suffering as a result of parental conflict. In most cases, a Parenting Coordinator is appointed after the divorce. The main reason for this is that the job of the Parenting Coordinator is to help the parents implement the Parenting Plan. Without a court ordered Parenting Plan in place, a Parenting Coordinator’s ability to perform their task is limited. However, sometimes the Court will appoint a Parenting Coordinator to help the parents develop a Parenting Plan.So, what issues are addressed in Parenting Coordination? Well, that depends on the court order, but these issues may include:
Minor changes or clarification of parenting time/access and/or vacation schedules
Modifying how the children are exchanged for time sharing
Health care management
Child rearing issues
School and Education
Communication between the parents
The goal of parenting coordination is to help reduce conflict, educate the parents so that they have the ability to independently resolve disputes, reduce ongoing stress for parents and children, and to reduce the frequency of litigation between the parents. One important feature of parenting coordination is confidentiality. All communications made during the sessions are confidential. In fact, except in very limited circumstances, Florida Statute 61.125 prohibits the parenting coordinator from testifying or offering evidence in court about communications made by, between or among the parties and the parenting coordinator during parenting coordination sessions.
Not everyone is qualified to be a parent coordinator. Florida Statute 61.125(4) outlines who may be appointed by the court as a parenting coordinator. The parenting coordinator must be a lincesed mental health professional, a licensed physcian, a certified family law mediator or an attorney. Additionally, the parent coordinator must have at least twenty four hours of parent cooridination training, have completed a mediation training program and have at least three years experience in their profession.
Andrew G. Storie is a family law and divorce attorney who serves Orlando and all of Central Florida. For more information please visit