Let’s face it, co-parenting can at times be very challenging. Sometimes two people just shouldn’t be involved with each other at all but have to be because they share a child. Fortunately, for those parents that cannot get along there is a solution. A neutral third party in the form of either a parenting facilitator or a parenting coordinator.

Understanding The Difference

Parenting facilitators and parenting coordinators play a crucial role in helping divorced or separated parents communicate and make joint decisions regarding their children. In Texas, they are typically appointed by the court to assist parents in resolving parenting disputes outside the courtroom. The primary goal of parenting facilitators is to promote effective communication and cooperation between parents, ensuring the well-being of the children involved. Both usually help parents with things like, dispute resolution, identifying problems with co-parenting, addressing misunderstandings, and developing healthy co-parenting strategies.

The major difference between a parenting facilitator and a parenting coordinator is confidentiality. Methods and procedures used by a parenting facilitator are not confidential. Meaning that if a parent is behaving poorly with the facilitator, and they end up back in court, the facilitator can testify against them. On the other hand, sessions with a parenting coordinator are confidential. They cannot testify in court regarding the sessions with the parents.

A facilitator takes more of a supervisory role, basically making sure that parents are following the orders of the court, and that everyone is acting in the best interest of the children. Coordinators take a bit more of an active approach in that they help parents make mutual decisions and agreements for the benefit of the children. However, neither a facilitator nor a coordinator can take power away from the court. By statute they cannot modify court orders, and they cannot determine issues of conservatorship, possession and access, or child support.

Benefits

One of the key advantages of utilizing one of these parties is the potential for quicker dispute resolution. Instead of relying on the court system, parents can work collaboratively with the facilitator or coordinator to address issues such as visitation schedules, holiday arrangements, and educational decisions. This can lead to more efficient and less adversarial solutions, benefiting both parents and, most importantly, the children.

Choosing the Right Approach

Deciding whether to engage a parenting facilitator or parenting coordinator depends on the specific needs of the family. If parents are generally cooperative but encounter occasional disputes, a parenting facilitator may be a suitable choice. On the other hand, if conflicts are more frequent and serious, a parenting coordinator with a more hands on approach might be necessary to ensure a things work out best for the children.

It’s important for parents to approach these processes with an open mind and a commitment to prioritizing their children’s well-being. While co-parenting after a divorce can be challenging, the assistance of parenting facilitators or coordinators can provide the guidance needed to navigate these complexities successfully.