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Parenting coordinators may help resolve child custody disputes

In Montgomery County, Tennessee, or elsewhere, divorce often leads to an acrimonious relationship between estranged spouses. It may be reflected in excessive litigation, bitterness toward each other or lack of cooperation while caring for minor children. Such bitter divorces are often exacerbated with a custody issue.

Appointing a parenting coordinator can be in the best interests of the child in such high-conflict divorce cases. A parenting coordinator is often appointed by the parties themselves. In other cases, the court appoints a parenting coordinator to supervise the parties. The parenting coordinator's role may be general or specific, according to the court's order or the desire of the parties as the case may be.

A parenting coordinator does not represent either party but is appointed so as to guide the parties to overcome conflict and resolve any impasse arising out of the breakdown of marriage. The purpose of a parenting coordinator is to ensure that all other parties attend to the best interests of the child. More often than not, the parenting coordinator has to make a final decision regarding various conflicts that the parties might have. Thus, a parenting coordinator becomes an integral part in resolving child custody issues regarding visitation rights, custodial parent's rights, etc.

Parenting coordinators, being a neutral third party, may often be able to see things more clearly and objectively, whereas the conflicting parties may often allow the emotions of a high-conflict bitter divorce. However, the parenting coordinator does not represent either party. This may also lead to conflict between the parties and the parenting coordinator when there is a disagreement.

Appointment of a parenting coordinator may be a good option for anyone undergoing a high-conflict divorce, although the option can often have its drawbacks as well. Getting professional legal guidance from an experienced Tennessee family law attorney might be a great help to parties who are deciding whether to request a parenting coordinator or who already must work with one because of a court's order.

Source: Huffington Post, "Parenting coordinators: helping parents through high-conflict custody cases", Nicole H. Sodoma and Robin Goulet, May 8, 2014

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