Parenting Coordinators vs. Parenting Facilitators

Whether you are going through a divorce or child custody case, communicating with your co-parent can be difficult and stressful. Communication that is not productive can ultimately become destructive.

However, two types of professionals can assist with these issues: Parenting Coordinators and Parenting Facilitators.

Parenting Coordinator

A Parenting Coordinator is an impartial third party who assists in resolving parenting issues through confidential procedures. The duties of Parenting Coordinators are limited to matters that aid the parties in:

  1. identifying disputed issues;
  2. reducing misunderstandings;
  3. clarifying priorities of the parties;
  4. exploring possibilities for problem-solving;
  5. developing methods of co-parenting and obtaining co-parenting skills;
  6. understanding and implementing parenting plans;
  7. complying with court orders; and
  8. settling disputes regarding parenting issues.

Sessions with a Parenting Coordinator are flexible with each set of parents. A Parenting Coordinator is trained to work with each unique family dynamic. Sessions may be as informal or formal as necessary for a case, and there are no specific procedures Parenting Coordinators must follow. It is important to note that a Parenting Coordinator cannot be used as a witness in your case.

A Parenting Coordinator does not replace a judge, jury, mediator, arbitrator, or attorney. The court still controls the suit, and a Parenting Coordinator cannot modify court orders; only a judge can do that.

Parenting Facilitator

A Parenting Facilitator is an impartial third party who assists parties in resolving parenting issues through non-confidential procedures. Parenting Facilitators aid the parties in the same ways as Parenting Coordinators, but Parenting Facilitators can also monitor compliance with court orders.

Similar to a Parenting Coordinator, sessions with a Parenting Facilitator are tailored to each set of parents and may be as informal or formal as necessary. However, the key difference with Parenting Facilitators is that they can be called to testify in your case. If a Parenting Facilitator is involved, it is highly likely he or she will testify if issues between the parents are not resolved in facilitation.

A Parenting Facilitator also does not replace a judge, jury, mediator, arbitrator, or attorney and cannot modify orders.

Is a Parenting Coordinator or Facilitator Right for Me?

Parenting Coordinators and Facilitators can be appointed by a court on its own, by request of a party, or by agreement of the parties. If you struggle to communicate in a productive manner with your co-parent, a Parenting Coordinator or Facilitator may be right for your case. However, you should consult an attorney prior to making the decision on your own. Keep in mind that there will be a cost associated with the Parenting Coordinator or Facilitator that will need to be paid by the parties, usually equally, for all joint sessions with both parents.

About Robert Epstein

Robert Epstein is an experienced family law attorney with the strategic capabilities, creativity, and intense drive to resolve challenging cases both in and out of the courtroom. Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2014 and licensed to practice law in the State of Texas since 2008, Robert has been recognized for his expertise in family law by Super Lawyers (Thomson-Reuters), Best Lawyers in Dallas (D Magazine), Best Lawyers in America, Top Attorneys (Fort Worth Magazine), and Power Players of Dallas (Modern Luxury Magazine). Contact us to schedule a consultation.

Related Posts
  • 10 Creative Ways to Modify Your Parenting Plan for Co-Parenting Success Read More
  • What Are The Basics Of Child Custody In Texas? Read More