A Parenting Coordinator becomes involved with a family when the parents are just not able to get along well enough to parent their children effectively. It’s as simple as that.

The court may have flagged the parents as “high conflict”: angry, hostile, and unable to agree on anything. Or a family therapist may have suggested a Parenting Coordinator after months of work have failed to produce any progress in developing a parenting plan. Do any of these high-conflict behaviors sound familiar to you?

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• Holding back or delaying support payments

• Changing divorce lawyers often

• Taking lots of non-legal issues to court

• Refusing to give the other parent information about the children’s health, schooling, or other activities

• Last-minute changes in plans designed to make it hard for the other parent

• Distrust of the other parent

• Bitter anger at the other parent

• Constant arguing about things that can’t be proved

• False reports to police and courts about drug use, violence, or criminal activity

When a court, therapist, or lawyer sees these red flags, the result may be a referral to a Parenting Coordinator. Many courts have “early warning” systems set up to help families limit conflict and encourage cooperation. This keeps parents out of the court system except as really needed, and not for nuisance issues. The benefits extend to areas other than legal, as well. The Parenting Coordinator becomes the GPS for the family, helping to set a plan to keep the children on track.





About Debra Carter

Dr. Carter is a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist. She is also a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator and a Parent Coordinator. She is Co-Founder and Chief Clinical Director of the National Cooperative Parenting Center (NCPC) offering a wide spectrum of services to the Mental Health and Legal Communities as well as to families and children who are struggling with divorce related issues. She is, a frequent expert to the court, and an international speaker, lecturer and trainer on parenting in divorce. She is a consultant to the US Department of State in matters of international child custody.

Dr. Carter is the leader in the development of standardized Parental Responsibility Guidelines emphasizing the needs of children in divorce, which have been adopted and endorsed by the court. She has received numerous awards including the the prestigious “John E. Van Duzer Distinguished Service Award” from the International Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.

Her work can be found through Unhooked Books: https://www.unhookedmedia.com/#home