You have probably felt misunderstood, helpless, unfairly treated, and trapped in the court system during the divorce process.

Sometimes it feels as if the system adds to your problems instead of eliminating them. Courts can be slow, complicated, and expensive. The legal system can also feel like there is an “us-versus-them” way of looking at divorce. The system is set up so most parents feel like they are either a “winner” or a “loser,” and often both parents feel like they lost. There doesn’t seem to be any way for everyone to win, even just some of the time.

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However, when you hire a Parenting Coordinator, working as the GPS, he or she is keeping track of your children for the court. When I work with families in this way, I am the eyes and ears of the court. This keeps families out of court—and out of the win/lose court process.

It doesn’t make sense for parents to go to court to resolve simple issues, such as whether the pickup for children should be at the local gas station or the grocery store. That is a parenting decision, not a court decision. My goal is to keep the courts clear for legal issues.

is is not just about avoiding court, although that can be cheaper and easier for you. I also want to offer you a dose of hope. Right now you may have lost any hope that things can get better. It feels as if you and your coParent are stuck. She will never get over being angry. He will never listen.

But after twenty-five years of working with parents just like you, I would like to tell you that things can change. I have seen it happen again and again. It is not easy. There is a lot of learning to do. You will have habits to break. You will need to learn new ways to communicate. But the skills and tools you learn will help you for the rest of your life. Best of all, what you learn will give your children a better life.


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: