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Parenting Plans and Coordination

Many issues regarding parenting are because of poor communication among family members, especially between spouses. Poor communication is due to various reasons.

Relationships with your spouse and your children are very emotional. More often than not, we let our feelings take charge whenever there is a conflict within the family. When we let our emotions speak for ourselves, we tend to become unreasonable. It is okay to accept that sometimes, our pride, anger, and resentment gets the best of us. We are but human. However, if you feel that you are in a situation where you just can’t communicate properly with each other anymore, you might want to consider Parenting Coordination and Facilitation.


Parenting Coordination and Facilitation

According to the Texas Family Code, it assists parents who have parenting and family problems to resolve their issues with the help of an impartial third party appointed by court or by mutual agreement.

Usually, the court appoints an independent therapist or counselor. In Texas, we call them “Parenting Coordinators” or “Parenting Facilitators.”

Having an outsider step in is great because both parties will be given the chance to speak to each other and hear each other out. A Parenting Coordinator will make sure that there is an amicable settlement. He would note the concerns of each party and bring it to each other’s attention. Compromise will be sought in an attempt to resolve the issues. While the mediator might recommend solutions to the problem, his job is primarily to let you and your partner communicate when you couldn’t. The counselor-mediator will also help in ensuring that the objectives sought are met. Say, in concerns regarding children, the well-being of the children is a primary consideration in decision making.

During the Parenting Coordination and Facilitation, you will be empowered to take responsibility. It does not matter if you are married, separated, or divorced. What matters is that you are both parents and you both have a duty to your children.

As much as possible, try to avoid battles in court. It’s very costly and stressful. There are alternative ways to resolve a dispute extrajudicially. A Parenting Coordinator will help you and your partner arrive to a practicable parenting plan that is in the best interest of the children by letting you see things in an impartial way. It is difficult to avoid bias when it comes to our personal relationships. Also, the practicability of a parenting plan is very important. You must design a plan that both parties can stick to in order to avoid going to the court due to a breach in your agreement.


Issues a Parenting Coordinator helps resolve?

  • Misunderstandings in the family
  • Priorities
  • Methods of Parenting
  • Parenting Issues
  • Conservatorship/Possession of and access to a child
  • Implementation of Parenting Plan in Divorce Decree
  • Support of the Child


When should you seek a Family Lawyer instead of a Parenting Coordinator?

A family lawyer can do all that a Parenting Coordinator can. Additionally, an attorney can also explain to you and your co-parent the legal implications of your issues and how you can resolve things between you and your partner legally. It doesn’t have to end up in court. Lawyers can mediate and can facilitate extra-judicial solutions. With the proper legal information, you might be enlightened to understand where the other comes from and vice versa.


Collaboration is key when it comes to parenting. Teamwork will be the best solution. Your children will benefit the most if they have both their parents on the same side.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at attorney@okohlaw.us

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