Co-parenting is not always easy, no matter how good the intentions of both parents are. As co-parents, you have to make joint decisions for your kids, whether it’s which soccer team they’re going to join or what school they will attend. When making these decisions brings conflict every time and you don’t seem to be anywhere near a resolution, it may be time to speak to a professional for help. One such expert is a parenting coordinator, a person who works with co-parents to help them learn how to work together effectively.
The Coordinator’s Role
Coordinators will work with you and your co-parent to improve how you communicate, resolve your disputes and manage your parenting plan. Their exact role will vary based on what your particular family needs and what the court dictates (if the court is involved). While the parenting coordinator is there to work with you and your co-parent, the main focus of his or her work will still be upholding the best interests of your kids.
When the coordinator helps you work through conflicts, it can keep you out of the courtroom. If you have been in court many times over disputes, you are probably ready to stop going, and the same likely applies to your co-parent. As thorny situations arise, your coordinator will offer suggestions that could help you make those choices and resolve the issue on your own, without a judge deciding for you. Being able to make decisions without a judge is also more likely to leave you and your co-parent more satisfied with the results.
There Are a Lot of Benefits
Fighting tends to create an emotional burden on those doing it and those around it, including your kids. Even if you never argue with your kids present, they still may be impacted by those arguments and what you ultimately decide or are unable to act on. The coordinator will teach you and your co-parent ways to resolve conflict so you don’t fight as often or for prolonged periods of time. As a bonus, your kids will learn better problem-solving and communication skills because you and your co-parent are their primary role models in these important areas.
Since the coordinator will be focused on your children’s interests, the decisions he or she steers you toward should always be what is right for them. It can be tough for co-parents who aren’t getting along to separate personal issues from the vital decisions they have to make regarding their kids, especially when it comes to the big decisions. A neutral third party, like the parenting coordinator, can offer suggestions and guidance that are not influenced by emotions or personal history. Their unbiased suggestions and perspective can really help you and your co-parent see the best path for your children.
Last but certainly not least, you will be able to spend more time focusing on your kids than your problems with your co-parent when you have a coordinator helping you in that area. When you are less stressed about making decisions and communicating with your co-parent, you can redirect that newly free energy toward your children instead. They will be grateful for and benefit from the additional attention and the calmer households.
If you find that you are constantly fighting with your co-parent and communication is just not working, engaging a parenting coordinator can really help. When he or she is doing the job correctly, you should eventually reach a point where you no longer need the coordinator because you will have the skills you need to work and communicate effectively with your co-parent going forward.