What Is Parenting Coordination and Its Impact on Your Family?

Parenting Coordination and Facilitation is defined in the Texas Family Code. It involves the court appointing an impartial third party, or the parties reaching a mutual mediated agreement. This third party helps parents resolve issues related to parenting and other family matters. These issues typically stem from an order in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship. Essentially, instead of handling your divorce or child custody matter alone, a Texas judge may appoint an independent therapist or parenting facilitator. This facilitator assists both you and the opposing party in resolving any clear child custody issues.

The Role of Parenting Facilitators in Texas

Known as “Parenting Coordinators” or “Parenting Facilitators,” these professionals focus on providing education and empowerment. Their services target both you and your child’s other parent. Once you both gain clarity on the issues and understand the available alternative dispute resolution methods, negotiation becomes feasible. You can then work towards a parenting plan that serves your child’s best interest. Concurrently, this approach aims to minimize conflict and reduce the chances of future court visits.

How does one achieve this? Communication stands as a critical first step. The current family law dispute between you and your child’s other parent likely stems from weak communication skills. Perhaps past negative experiences in this area have led you to disengage from proactive discussions, even on matters involving your children.

The advantage of involving a Parenting Coordinator/Parenting Facilitator in Texas lies in their emotional detachment from your relationship. This detachment enables them to offer a more objective and impartial perspective, helping you see and address issues more effectively.

What issues will a Parenting Coordinator assist you with within a family law case?

The Family Code states which specific areas a Parenting Coordinator is to help you resolve a parenting plan. They will assist you and your polar regions in the following areas:

  1. Reducing misunderstandings;
  2. Clarifying priorities;
  3. Exploring possibilities for problem-solving;
  4. Developing methods of collaboration in parenting;
  5. Understanding parenting plans and reaching agreements about parenting issues to be included in a parenting plan and;
  6. Complying with the court’s order regarding conservatorship or possession of and access to a child;
  7. Implementing parenting plans;
  8. Obtaining training regarding problem-solving, conflict management, and parenting skills; and
  9. Settling disputes regarding parenting issues and reaching a proposed joint resolution or statement of intent regarding those disputes

From the perspective of a practicing family law attorney, these are all issues that come up with great frequency in a divorce or child custody case. Let’s examine a few of the most important ones that I believe a coordinator could stand to help you or any other person with during a family law case.

Reducing misunderstandings

Again, suppose you are going through family law. In that case, it is very likely that at least one significant piece of information is either being communicated poorly or is not being communicated at all to the opposing party.

This piece of information could be the motivation for seeking a child custody modification or could be the reason why you are seeking sole conservatorship of your child. Sometimes if the parties in a case allow their attorneys to act as to how communication is achieved, there can be difficulties in ensuring the message is conveyed correctly.

A parenting facilitator in Texas can focus on particular issues and communicate those to either side without the risk of misinterpretation or misunderstanding. If you and your opposing party understand where either side is coming from, it is easier to approach them with goodwill in hopes of settling on an issue relating to your children. At the very least, you both will be able to operate with the same information in mind.

Developing methods for collaboration in parenting

It could be that you and your opposing party have ample opportunity to come together to show a united front to your children but have just not identified those opportunities. What if you not only saw those opportunities for what they are but were able to work on them in an environment that encouraged teamwork? That seems like a win-win for me.

Your children would benefit from their having both parents weigh in on the same side of an issue. You and your opposing party now have one more minor problem to fight about and can feel like you accomplished something together for once when it comes to parenting.

Settling disputes regarding parenting issues and reaching a proposed joint resolution or statement of intent regarding those disputes

If you can utilize a parenting coordinator to increase the lines of communication between you and your spouse and then pinpoint particular issues that need work, it is more likely that you can avoid relying on the judge to resolve those issues.

Every parent’s goal in a family law case should be to make decisions in their children’s best interest. Going to the opposing party in your case in an honest effort to settle any outstanding issues increases the chances of reaching an agreement that does so dramatically.

Questions regarding Parenting Coordinators? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, represents clients across southeast Texas in family law. If you have any questions on this subject or any other, please do not hesitate to contact our office. A free-of-charge consultation with one of our licensed family law attorneys is available six days a week. We can address your inquiries and discuss our services for you as a client.


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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it’s essential to speak with one of our Houston, TX, Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our divorce lawyers in Houston, TX, are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, handles divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.

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