Hackensack Parent Coordinator Lawyer

What exactly is a Parent Coordinator? It’s actually very simple: this person is a neutral, third-party individual appointed by the Court, or agreed to by the parents, to coordinate and facilitate the Court-mandated parenting schedules of both parties and their children.

Let’s say you’re about to start the process of obtaining a divorce, or perhaps you are in the middle of a divorce. Oftentimes divorce will involve two co-parents fighting over child custody, and, at a certain point, when primary custody and parenting time rights have been determined (either agreed upon by both parties through their lawyers, or ordered by the Court), the Court will appoint a Parent Coordinator. And you may find that a Hackensack parent coordinator lawyer is the optimal parent coordinator.

What are the responsibilities of a parent coordinator?

  • Primarily, a parent coordinator works with both co-parents and their children to honor the agreed-upon or mandated schedule. Obviously, life is unpredictable, and with children, even more so. While schedules may change and co-parents need to remember to be both flexible and civil, a parent coordinator can assist both parties in their attempts to honor the spirit of the schedule. This may be by initiating a dialogue, acting as a sounding board, or anticipating issues no one has addressed yet. For example, the schedule may provide that mom has the whole Thanksgiving Day with the children this year. But Dad’s family (his elderly parents and siblings) are visiting from out of state this year for the holiday. Mom and Dad are unable to agree upon a compromise, but with the help of a Hackensack parent coordinator attorney, one may be worked out that allows everyone to spend some quality time with the children and enjoy their turkey and pie.
  • For a parent coordinator who is familiar with the Court’s usual decisions on this issue, the problem may be resolved. The most common reason a parent coordinator may be introduced by the Hackensack Court is that one or both parties continually fail to honor the agreed-upon schedule. In the event of arguments or disputes— which, between exes, may grow heated quickly— the parent coordinator may act as a non-biased, third-party voice of reason. They may decide if a deviation from the schedule is permissible (i.e., It’s not my day, but it’s my father’s 80th birthday!) or if an excuse or a transgression is worth harping on or not (I didn’t mean to be late for the pick-up, but my boss kept me late at the meeting.). It can oftentimes be unrealistic for the ex-spouses/co-parents to mediate these disputes on their own.
  • Primarily, a parent coordinator looks after the best interest of the child(ren). In the daily ebb and flow of life (breakfast, get the kiddos to school, work, laundry, dinner, dishes, homework, etc.), it can be easy, even with the best of intentions, to not have a child’s best interest in the forefront of one’s mind all the time. (And how can you, really? Parents are overwhelmed!) A parent coordinator can sometimes be the advocate for the child while dealing with parenting time decisions.

Why Utilize a Hackensack Parent Coordinator Attorney?

Lawyers know the ins and outs of the Family Court system. Lawyers know what’s fair and what the Court may preemptively recommend. Your parent coordinator being a lawyer who has spent their career in family law means they’re coming to the role with qualities that already make them ideal for this part: empathy, legal knowledge, and patience.

It’s important to remember that, often, the parent coordinator’s decisions are not final or binding; if one thinks it’s worth it, a parent can appeal their decision to the Court. But utilizing a parent coordinator may be a way to not to have engage with the legal system; it may, ideally, be a way to prioritize a neutral, fair third-party decision maker that helps the family Move Forward into its new look and next chapter as a family.

Are you thinking about a parent coordinator, or do you already need one? Call, fill out the intake form, or email a dedicated Family Law paralegal to speak with a Hackensack parent coordinator lawyer at O’Cathain Law Group.