23 Nov Parent Facilitation
The situation surrounding every divorce is different. Sometimes, if children are involved, the use of a parent facilitator is needed. This occurs in higher conflict situations where the parents have issues with each other, and disputes could regularly arise as they parent post-divorce.
Whether you have heard of a parent facilitator before and are exploring it as an option or this is the first time you have heard of them as you navigate your divorce, knowing what one is and what they can do for you can help.
Parent facilitation is a professional service that parents can be assigned after a divorce. The service can either be appointed or agreed upon by the splitting parties. Either way, a court order signed off by a judge is needed.
Parent facilitators are neutral third parties. Their purpose is to help execute parenting plans and resolve any conflict that may arise between the former spouses. Parent facilitators work with high-conflict families and their appointment must be supported by good cause and the best interests of the child.
The most important thing to note about parent facilitators is that the work they do with the family they are assigned to is not confidential. All services that they provide are recorded in detail and can and likely will be reported to the Court.
The facilitator acts in a supervisory role and helps implement parenting plans, makes sure that court orders are followed regarding child custody, and settles disputes. They help parents develop methods so that they can collaborate as they parent. Facilitators cannot modify any kind of existing court order, regardless of what happens as they supervise. Only a judge can modify any orders, such as custody, child support, and conservatorship. The facilitator can help the parties reach agreements that can be memorialized in writing and used as updated parental guidelines moving forward. The parties can then conform to that agreement outside of the Court order.
Parent facilitators keep notes of their meetings and contacts with not only the family they are working with, but attorneys and anyone else involved as well. These must be submitted to the court upon request and can also be made available to any attorney involved.
No, parent facilitators and parent coordinators are not the same. The major difference between the two is that the work that a parent coordinator does is confidential. The work that a parent facilitator does is not. Make sure to clarify which service is assigned to you so that you are aware of the level of confidentiality that is present for you and your family.
If you are involved in a high-conflict divorce and you have children, working with a family law attorney can be beneficial. If you are having any custody issues or a parent facilitator gets assigned, a child custody attorney can help advocate for your interests. Navarrette | Bowen, P.C. has a team of experienced divorce lawyers that can help. Our main office is located in downtown Denton, and you can contact us to set up a confidential consultation to discuss your circumstances and receive guidance.