Resolving Child Custody Disputes -- The Facilitators: Parenting Coordinators, Mediators, and Evaluators


In a divorce or separation, the separation agreement represents the negotiated contract between the parties. The agreement covers property divisions, spousal maintenance, child support, and child custody and visitation. If the parents can arrive at a written agreement on matters of child custody, in the best interests of the child, then the court will incorporate their agreement into the final decree.

Judicial decisions over child custody are fully dependent upon determinations of what is in the best interests of the child. In our experience, child custody is one of the most contentious areas of family law. Sometimes the parties are able to work toward an agreement. And sometimes the level of conflict is so persistent and intense that the parents are unable to make reasoned decisions about their children’s future.

To assist parents in arriving at a custody arrangement that serves both their interests and the best interests of the children, the family court often relies on the services of three professional facilitators: the mediator, the parenting coordinator, and the child custody evaluator.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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