Are the kids losing and the lawyers winning?
Parties in ‘high conflict’ custody or parenting time situations express that they sometimes feel that the children are suffering while legal costs are growing. The reason for this is a combination of many factors.
Despite the best efforts of the attorney and judges involved the court system is not well positioned to offer relief to parents trying to manage day to day conflict. The attorneys must position to prepare their cases for trial, not only reach agreements. In this role the attorneys and parties are adversaries. This is often not the best environment to resolve problems related to, for example, ’who pays for the soccer cleats’, or 'what time should the kids go to bed on a school night.'
An option in these cases is to have a parenting coordinator appointed by the court. A parenting coordinator can be thought of as a ‘referree of reasonableness.’ Many times the parenting coordinator is trained in social work, psychology and/or law. The parenting coordinator is paid for by the parents.
Practically speaking, the parenting coodinator is more accessible than the judge to resolve disputes. If the parents option is to pay for attorneys to litigate, the parenting coordinator comes at a much cheaper price tag.
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