It is common for parents going through a divorce or child custody case to have difficulties co-parenting. Texas courts have several options to assist parents with developing strategies to create a healthy co-parenting relationship. Most courts in Texas will require both parents to complete a co-parenting course prior to the finalization of a divorce or child custody case. In some cases, a parenting course is not enough. In certain cases, Texas courts can appoint either a parenting facilitator or parenting coordinator to further assist the parents to develop a healthy co- parenting relationship.
The roles of a parenting facilitator and a parenting coordinator are very similar. The purpose of both a parenting facilitator and parenting coordinator is to assist parents in resolving parenting issues. The major difference between a parenting facilitator and a parenting coordinator includes their ability to communicate certain information to the Court and the procedures used by each. A parenting coordinator must fulfill his/her purpose through confidential procedures and communication. This means that the parenting coordinator cannot report anything to the Court other than a statement of whether the parenting coordination should continue. A parenting coordinator is prohibited from disclosing information to the Court that was obtained through parenting coordination. A parenting facilitator fulfills his/her role based upon procedures established by the Court. A parenting facilitator can make recommendations to the court and can be called to testify in a judicial proceeding. Information reported by the parties to the parenting facilitator is not confidential.