Learn More about Parenting Coordination from the Howard and Montgomery County Family Law Attorneys You Trust
Practical advice for parents in Bethesda, Rockville, Fulton and Columbia
Couples who have children, whether they were married or not, need to work out their differences enough to make sure their children’s health and well-being comes first. Parents with joint legal custody need to communicate with each other about the child’s medical care, education and religious upbringing. Parents with shared physical custody, or even a parent with sole physical custody, need to continually address issues that affect the day-to-day guidance their child needs.
Parenting coordination is a process where a trained facilitator gives parents additional assistance in their efforts to co-parent. At McCabe Russell, PA, our Howard and Montgomery County parenting coordination lawyers understand that the ultimate goal for all involved is to enable the parents to be able to make their decisions together without the help of the parenting coordinator. From our offices in Bethesda, Rockville, Fulton and Columbia, we are prepared to help our clients get to that point.
What is a parenting coordinator?
Parenting coordinators must meet a specific list of requirements that address their age, their training and their need to take continuing education courses. Qualified parenting coordinators are placed on approved Montgomery and Howard County lists. A parenting coordinator can voluntarily be chosen by the parents and then appointed by a court order, or chosen and selected directly by the court when the court thinks there is a high enough conflict that a coordinator is needed.
What does a parenting coordinator do?
Your parenting coordinator is not your attorney, and therefore does not offer legal advice. Keep in mind, too, that a parenting coordinator is not a therapist, mediator, Best Interest attorney, judge or custody evaluator. In general, a parenting coordinator is there to help two parents work together in a more effective way. Parenting coordinators are impartial.
The goals of the parenting coordinator and the parents can vary from case to case, but some common goals are:
- To determine how to follow the court-ordered parenting time schedule
- To make temporary changes to the parenting time schedule when needed
- To resolve and reduce conflicts over parenting
- To have meaningful and healthy parent-child relationships
- To learn the skills needed to engage in collaborative parenting
- To establish a working plan for communication between co-parents
- To decrease constant litigation and other strife between the parents
How parenting coordinators help parents help their children
Some of the many practical things a parenting coordinator can help parents with are the ability to:
- Establish daily routines
- Create a transportation schedule
- Choose medical providers or therapeutic providers
- Coordinate extracurricular activities for the children
- Establish consistent discipline and consequences for the children
- Communicate in a child-focused way
The Maryland Parent Coordinator rule also permits coordinators to:
- Help the parents develop a custody and visitation plan, if an order does not already exist
- Assist the parents in interpreting and complying with an existing order
- Educate the parents about how to make and implement decisions on behalf of the child’s best interests
- Suggest useful resources
- Develop strategies to reduce conflict
- Inform the court if the child is in immediate physical or emotional danger
- Make minor, temporary changes to child access provisions in some limited situations
Get help from a trained parenting coordinator in Howard or Montgomery County
If you are interested in setting up an appointment to begin parent coordination, the attorneys of McCabe Russell, PA can assist you with working toward a healthy, respectful parenting relationship. To make an appointment in Bethesda, Rockville, Fulton or Columbia, please call 443-917-3347 or fill out our contact form.