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Are Parenting Coordinators the Answer?

Posted by J. Benjamin Stevens | Sep 29, 2005 | 0 Comments

In many states, joint custody is becoming more a popular and common resolution in custody cases. However, as I often tell my clients, while joint custody sounds like a great solution, it often causes as many problems as it solves. For instance, if both parents have equal decision-making ability, what happens when they cannot agree? Often, the answer is to go back to Court again (and again…).
This month's Health magazine has an interesting article, A New Twist in Splitsville by Naomi Lubick, that discusses the concepts of “parenting coordinators.” These professionals are specially trained social workers or psychologists appointed by the Court to help parents learn to make decisions together for their children and to make those decisions themselves if the parents are unable to do so.
While I am in favor of engaging professionals to help parents resolve conflicts and avoid unnecessary litigation, I am not sure that I am comfortable with delegating parenting decisions to third parties unless absolutely necessary. In most cases, when parents truly have their child's best interest at heart, they will acknowledge that it is preferable for one of them (even it is the other one) to make those decisions rather than a stranger.

About the Author

J. Benjamin Stevens

Aggressive, creative, and compassionate are words Ben Stevens' colleagues freely use to describe him as a divorce and family law attorney. Ben is a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and is a Board Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocates. He is one of only four attorneys in South Carolina with those simultaneous distinctions. To schedule a consultation with Ben Stevens call (864) 598-9172.


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