A divorcing couple with children might encounter a number of issues related to the care of their shared children that they are not able to resolve among themselves. In the state of New York, the court has the option to appoint a parenting coordinator to assist in this process. The parenting coordinator interviews, interacts with and observes both parents and children, then makes a recommendation to the court regarding time-sharing, custody and other child-centered issues.
The parenting coordinator makes recommendations to the court based on observations in the following areas:
Parent-child relationship – Including how each parent speaks to, disciplines, listens to and understands the individual needs of the child. Child’s ability to adjust – Including the child’s level of anxiety around transitions, change, and transportation between homes. Conditions in each partner's home – Including the general condition of the home, the child’s room, play area, access to outdoors or parks, presence of siblings or stepsiblings, proximity to school and friends. Child’s wishes – The parenting coordinator can consider the child’s wishes in recommending custody and time-sharing arrangements. Other specific factors – For example, if a child has special needs, the parenting coordinator's recommendation might reflect an assessment of each parent's ability to accommodate the child’s needs and each parent’s relationship to the child's caregivers.
As the advocate specifically for the needs of the child, the parenting coordinator is instrumental in determining what arrangements are in the best interest of the child. Your child custody attorney can convey your concerns to the coordinator and help ensure the best outcome possible. To learn more about child custody issues, call the Buffalo, NY Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis at 716.568.4367 or contact us online.