Raising a child calls for parents to make numerous decisions on a daily basis. For both parents to come to a consensus is difficult enough in an intact family. After divorce, when most parents are the least amicable, deciding what's best for your child as a unit can feel like an impossible task. In New Jersey, the majority of parents in family court are given joint legal custody. This essentially means that parents are to collaborate together in resolving a range of decisions for their child in matters involving religion, education, diet, and other daily decisions.
Perhaps one parent grew up in a household where swearing, watching PG-13 movies at a young age, and drinking soda every day was routine. Whereas, another parent may have never enjoyed the Harry Potter series because of the “witchcraft” it broadcasted, and Kidz Bop tunes were the only version of music they were exposed to until their teen years.
Parents with such contrasting experiences growing up will have differing perspectives on what is appropriate for their child. It's confusing for a young child to process why he or she can stay up all night at dad's house but must be in bed before 8 p.m. at mom's. In situations like this, staying agreeable is unlikely. Ultimately, parents may end up lacking the desire or capacity to compromise. Before running to court, New Jersey parents may opt to receive the assistance of a parenting coordinator.
A parenting coordinator is a neutral person that is either appointed by the court or agreed upon by the parties to facilitate the resolution of day-to-day parenting issues that frequently arise after a divorce. The goal of this third party is to smoothen out the process of co-parenting, this includes aiding parties in following the existing parenting plan, reducing misunderstandings, identifying priorities, exploring possibilities for compromise, and developing various methods of communication that will boost collaboration. It's important to note that the parenting coordinator does not take the place of a judge, nor can he or she enforce or modify orders.
Though working with parenting coordinators isn't a popular (or well-known) avenue of resolution in New Jersey, this option is available and there are benefits. You'll spend less time in the courtroom, you'll reduce stress, and your kids may learn a thing or two about solving their problems.
Regardless of whether or not a third party can make a cameo in your child custody arrangement, it's important you still understand their purpose.
New Jersey Family Law Attorney
If you're involved in a child custody proceeding, it's important you retain legal counsel from an attorney who knows their stuff. Joseph D. Lento has helped parents from across the state score an agreement that includes their contributions, protects their parental rights, and most importantly, reflects the best interest of the child. For more information about Mr. Lento's representation, contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686.