Following separation, a few people have top priority when it comes to attaining a stress free lifestyle – the children. Keeping them on course is important.

coParenting After Divorce

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The parenting plan also accounts for the changes that occur with time. As time passes, your children get older. They change as they grow. Their needs change too.

A toddler’s plan looks different from a teenager’s. Building in changes that allow for the normal development of children allows the plan to work over time.

Parents may need to seek out a specialist – a Parenting Coordinator – trained in parenting education, case management, mental health, child development and community resources.

The Parenting Coordinator acts like the resources button on the GPS. Press this button to find fuel, food, services, and points of interest. The coordinator might see that tutoring or counseling is needed. The GPS maps out the directions and distance to the resource you need.

This is Not Fair

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.

However, the Parenting Coordinator, working as the GPS, is keeping track of your children for the court. This keeps families out of court. It doesn’t make sense for parents to go to court to resolve simple issues. Best of all, what you learn will give your children a better life.

Getting Started

Parenting coordination begins with information. What is the family like? What do you as coParents see as needs? What can you agree on as the best interests of your children? Many Parenting Coordinators will give you homework — forms to fill out with information to start the process.

A useful questionnaire helps you determine if parenting coordination would be helpful in your case. It’s available as a form called the Screening Questionnaire for Parent Coordination Services on The National Cooperative Parenting Center (NCPC) site.



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: