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How do the roles of a mediator and parenting coordinator differ?

In recent years, family law judges have increasingly encouraged divorcing couples to try to resolve their differences via mediation as research has shown that couples are less likely to seek out modifications when they do. Likewise, moms and dads embroiled in custody battles have increasingly been ordered to seek out the services of a parenting coordinator to help them resolve issues that seem to keep sending them back to court.

Whether a couple utilizes the services of a mediator or a parenting coordinator, the individual that they work with is generally a neutral third party with a mental health background. Both are generally trained in making decisions that are in the best interests of the children as opposed to the parents.

The role of the mediator is not to advocate for one spouse or parent's perspective, but to help the couple explore what their common wishes for their child are. They then help the couple engage in respectful dialog necessary to broker a plan that honors those common wishes.

If the couple is dissatisfied with the outcome of the mediation, then they're not under any obligation to follow that plan unless a judge says otherwise.

Parenting coordinators differ from mediators in that they're only authorized to address and make changes to issues covered in existing court orders. Their role is not to alter any agreement that a judge has signed off on, but instead to help them define ground rules for how they'll resolve new concerns when they arise.

Many divorcing couples who are struggling to amicably resolve their differences resort to mediation as a way to find solutions to their problems without having to drag each other back-and-forth into the courtroom to do so. An increasing number of moms and dads are being ordered to use the services of a parenting coordinator to resolve their differences instead of clogging up court schedules to do so.

A Colorado Springs parental coordinating and decision-making attorney can let you know whether pursuing one of these cost-effective alternative dispute resolution methods may be an ideal way for you and your ex to also resolve your differences.

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