Custody and visitation in a divorce scenario may be a particularly difficult and challenging proposition for some parents. Whether the parents reside in Georgia or anywhere else, the bitterness and regret that they may feel in the aftermath of a separation and a divorce can be emotionally devastating. In those situations, child custody and visitation interchanges and contacts may be the central setting for the expression of emotionally charged conflicts.
When a volatile situation exists, one or both parties may request the appointment of a parenting coordinator. Alternatively, the court may take such action on its own. The neutral appointee steps into the middle of the parental interchange and takes charge in a manner defined by the court order. There can entail varying degrees of authority in the coordinator, depending on the specific difficulties experienced.
Sometimes, a parent finds it extremely tough to put aside his or her personal animosity toward the other parent. The main opportunities for contact between them may have to do with the visitation and custody dynamics involving the children. For a parent who is a high-powered and emotional individual, volatile contact can erupt and affect the well-being of the children. The parenting coordinator is charged with monitoring the communications and stepping in to make decisions regarding the children where necessary.
If the parents simply can't face each other without emotional explosions, the parenting coordinator will take control of those instances where the children may be affected. The coordinator will either handle the interchange or at least be present as an observer. There are a myriad of ways in which the parenting coordinator can assist the parents and the children to get through challenging situations.
The need for the family law court to participate in child custody and visitation dynamics exists in Georgia as well as elsewhere. One or both parents can go to the court and request assistance where things may seem to get out of control. The court stands ready as a final arbiter of the conflict and as the ultimate guardian of assuring that the best interests of the children are served.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Parenting Coordinators: Helping Parents Through High-Conflict Custody Cases", Nicole H. Sodoma, May 8, 2014