What is a Parenting Consultant?
A parenting consultant is a specially trained professional, agreed to by the parents and then court ordered, to help them resolve parenting disputes, manage their parenting plan, and improve communication.
Do you need a lawyer to have a Parenting Consultant?
No, although many lawyers are parenting consultants. Many psychologists and other mental health workers are also parenting consultants.
What does a Parenting Consultant do?
A parenting consultant is a neutral who mediates disagreements between the parents- sometimes educating them – and always offering recommendations on ways to resolve issues. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, then the parenting consultant makes a decision that is binding on the parties unless and until a Court orders otherwise. The parenting consultant always acts in the best interests of the children.
Can a Parenting Consultant be ordered by the Court?
Only if the parents agree. If they do, then the Court will sign their agreement and it becomes a court order. Without an agreement between the parties, the Court has no authority to order parents to use a parenting consultant.
Can a Parenting Consultant change custody orders?
A parenting consultant cannot change custody, and the parents cannot agree to allow the parenting consultant to change custody. Other than that, the parents agree on the scope of the parenting consultant’s duties, which may include alterations of parenting time, transportation issues, setting holiday and vacation times, and school choice, among many other things.
Why choose to use a Parenting Consultant?
It is an effective way to minimize parental conflict, reduce stress on children, offer a timely response, and stop continued litigation. It is less expensive than utilizing attorneys for each parent to resolve disputes.
Who pays for a Parenting Consultant?
Generally, the parties pay equally for the parenting consultant’s services, although the parents may agree to allocate the fees differently based on their respective financial situations. The court order usually also provides that the parenting consultant may allocate fees differently if one person has abused the process.
What are the requirements to be a Parenting Consultant?
There is specialized training needed to be a parenting consultant. That training includes learning about child development, psychological traits, physical abuse, alcoholism and other substance abuse, parental alienation, coercive control, interpersonal dynamics, step-parenting, and parental conflict as it affects children, as well as many other things.
How is a Parenting Consultant different from a Mediator?
A parenting consultant is much more evaluative than a mediator, who can only help the parties come to an agreement through negotiation. Mediation is usually completed in one or two sessions and is a confidential proceeding. Parenting consulting is not confidential; information obtained in parenting consulting can be communicated to the court if one of the parties challenges a decision. he parenting consultant is usually contracted for two or more years and thus has much more intimate knowledge of the parents and the family. The parenting consultant can and frequently does meet with the parties separately and can also meet with the children. And of course, a parenting consultant can resolve an issue if the parties cannot.