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Parenting Facilitators and Coordinators in custody actions

Dallas Child Custody Attorneys Helping Parents Protect Their Rights

Parents generally aim to do what is best for their children. When parents share custody of a child, however, they will often disagree as to what division of parental rights and access will benefit their child. As such, many custody cases devolve into contentious battles where the parents have difficulty communicating and coming to an agreement with regard to a parenting plan. Fortunately, Texas law allows the courts to appoint parenting facilitators and coordinators in custody actions to help parents resolve their conflicts and determine a custody arrangement that is in the best interest of their child. If you are involved in a dispute over custody rights, it is important to understand your options, and you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The skilled Dallas child custody lawyers of McClure Law Group can assess your case and help you take the measures necessary to protect your interests as well as the interests of your child.

Parenting Facilitators in Custody Actions

Parenting facilitators and coordinators in custody actions have similar roles and objectives, but there are key differences between the two that are important for anyone involved in a custody dispute to understand. The Texas Family Code (the Code) grants courts the right to appoint both parenting facilitators and parenting coordinators.

Parenting facilitators are impartial third parties appointed by the court to facilitate communication and cooperation between parents who are experiencing difficulties in co-parenting their children. Their primary objective is to assist parents in creating workable parenting plans and resolving disputes related to child custody and visitation. They do so by employing various conflict resolution techniques, such as mediation and negotiation, to help parents reach mutually acceptable agreements.

Parenting facilitators must communicate effectively with all parties involved while preserving the integrity of the facilitation process and considering the safety of the parents and children. They may meet individually or jointly with parties, and interview the children involved.

Parenting facilitators do not have decision-making authority; instead, they guide the discussion between parents and ensure that the best interests of the children involved are at the forefront of their decision-making process. Further, they are not permitted to offer legal advice. It is important to note that discussions with parenting facilitators are not confidential; however, records obtained during the facilitation process must be handled confidentially and released only as directed by the court or relevant authorities.

Parenting Coordinators in Custody Actions

On the other hand, discussions with parenting coordinators are confidential. A court in a custody case may only appoint a parenting coordinator after notice and hearing, and only if the court determines that the case is either a high-conflict case or that there is good cause shown for the appointment of a parenting coordinator, and the appointment is in the best interest of any minor child involved in the suit. Secondly, the court must ensure that the appointed individual meets the minimum qualifications required by the Code unless these requirements have been waived by the court with the agreement of the parties.

The court must outline the parenting coordinator's duties in the appointment order. These duties include identifying disputed issues, reducing misunderstandings, and exploring methods of collaboration in parenting. The coordinator is tasked with helping the parties understand and comply with court orders, implementing parenting plans, and resolving disputes regarding parenting issues. Importantly, the appointment of a parenting coordinator does not diminish the court's authority over issues of conservatorship, support, and possession of and access to the child. Furthermore, the coordinator is not authorized to modify any court orders.

Talk to a Dedicated Dallas Child Custody Attorney

Custody battles can become heated, but in many instances, parenting facilitators and coordinators in custody actions can help parents find common ground for the benefit of their children. If you need assistance with a custody dispute, it is wise to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. The dedicated Dallas child custody attorneys of McClure Law Group can assess the facts of your case and offer you advice regarding what steps you can take in pursuit of a favorable outcome. Our primary office is located in Dallas, and we have a Collin-County office, which is located in Plano, where we are available to meet clients by appointment. We frequently represent parties in child custody actions in Dallas, McKinney, Fort Worth, Frisco, Rockwall, Irving, Richardson, and Garland. We also handle family-law cases in cities in Dallas, Denton, Rockwall, Collin, Tarrant, and Grayson. You can contact us by calling 214.692.8200 or by using our form online to arrange a meeting.

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