It is easy for parents contemplating or going through a divorce to forget how detrimental this process is on kids both during and after. This is especially true if the divorce is brought on by one parent’s actions or decision or due to traumatic events in the marriage. These types of situations are stressful and confusing for everyone involved. As a parent, it is essential to see the situation from the child’s point of view and make this life change as easy as possible for them.
Certified parenting coordinators (“PC”) offer intervention in high-conflict cases involving custody of children. Many parents let their own anger feed the process, but this negativity has a significant impact. A PC works directly with each parent to achieve positive communication and avoid conflicts regarding child-related issues. This assistance is sometimes mandated by the court, but may also be voluntarily used by parents who are finding it difficult to make effective and agreed-upon decisions regarding their children.
What is a Certified Parenting Coordinator?
A certified parenting coordinator is an experienced professional who is able to act as a mediator, and sometimes decision-maker, in sensitive custody cases where parents cannot seem to agree on day-to-day decisions. You can learn more details about the PC’s role here.
An experienced PC is a good option for resolving day-to-day parenting decisions that for some reason are causing parents to antagonize or fight with each other. The PC’s role can include monitoring communication between parents and assisting with decisions involving the following:
- Schedule Changes
- Custody Changes
- Visitation Exchanges
- Health Care
- Child Discipline
- Extracurricular Activities
- Anything Involving Money
Effects on Children in High-Conflict Divorces
If you are entering a divorce, you might already notice changes in your children’s behavior. Children may have increased short-term adjustment problems if open conflict continues during or after the divorce. Intense conflict has the most devastating results because the children are constantly subjected to fighting between their parents about every little detail. Open conflict during or after the divorce frequently results in these common short-term changes in children:
- Social Difficulties
- Increased Dependency
- Lowered Confidence
- Acting Out for Attention
Children who are brought into the conflict frequently are at higher risk for experiencing these adjustment issues. How parents discuss child-related topics and treat each other during any part of this process will have a significant impact.
How Does a Certified Parenting Coordinator Help?
In North Carolina, professionals working as a certified parenting coordinator must have: a Master’s Degree or Doctoral Degree in the area of mental health from a regionally accredited university with at least 2 years of experience; a license to practice law through the State Board of Examiners; be a member of a recognized association for health professionals; or have at least two years of experience in handling these situations in the family court system. A professional acting as a PC is able to assist the parents and do their job in the following ways:
- Meeting with Both Parties’ Attorneys to Identify Issues
- Reviewing Relevant Documentation (Medical, School, etc.)
- Consulting with Witnesses such as Teachers or Psychologists
- Creating Suitable Visitation Schedules Based on Input from all Parties
- Mediating Disputes Regarding Parenting or Visitation
- Working on Parental Communication Skills
- Making Recommendations for Visitation Schedules in Court
- Reporting Issues to the Court from Child’s Point of View
- Taking Steps to Educate and Prevent Parental Alienation
Before you continue to battle over how much financial help will be provided or who has custody on what days, consider how the conflict involved with these decisions will impact your children. It is important to be able to make decisions based on the child’s best interests without fighting and some parents need assistance and guidance to accomplish that goal.
Why Sodoma Law?
At Sodoma Law, our mantra is “family driven, family focused”, as a divorce and custody situation is difficult for every person involved. We offer parents who are going through these situations certified parenting coordinator services to assist with conflict resolution. Our professionals have decades of experience in resolving high-conflict or sensitive matters regarding children. We take every possible measure to keep a peaceful, supportive environment and strive to gain the most positive outcome in these delicate situations.
Contact our parenting coordinators to get started.