Co-Parenting Without Costly Attorneys, Therapists and Custody Evaluators
We offer unique, pay-as-you go mediation services to help resolve all child-related and parenting issues.
Let one qualified professional help you resolve any day-to-day decisions of and concerning your children including, but not limited to, helping parents resolve custody and parenting time disputes without paying expensive retainer fees to lawyers, without paying mental health professionals, and without even leaving the privacy of your home!!! All you need is a valid credit card and at least two parents, step-parents and/or grandparents who are willing to virtually appear for one or as many sessions with Howard S. Mendelson, Esq. As they would like to help them resolve any and all “child-related issues” without undue costs and acrimony. Mr. Mendelson is an attorney who has practiced family law and education law for over 34 years, who has been appointed by the courts of new jersey to represent children in highly contested custody matters, who has been mediating custody disputes for clients for over 20 years, who teaches family law and education law to his fellow lawyers college students, who has been recognized as a master emeritis by the Thomas S. Forkin family law american inn of court, and who has raised four children of his own.
Parenting Coordination and Support
Parenting coordination is a child-centered and parent-friendly way to co-parent that our courts, attorneys and therapists all support. Parenting coordination services provide New Jersey parents with the legal and therapeutic services needed to resolve differences and effectively co-parent without the undue costs and acrimony of litigation and/or custody evaluations.
Whether parents are married, single and/or divorced, the “job of parenting” our children, especially today, is probably the hardest and certainly one of the most important “jobs” parents will ever have. While divorced parents, separated parents and other parents who cannot effectively communicate with one another clearly have more difficultly co-parenting, even in-tact couples who love one another and have no problem communicating can have different parenting styles making co-parenting difficult. While our law and therapeutic consensus each recognize the unquestionable benefits to children who are raised by two cooperative selfless parents who have mastered the art of co-parenting, until recently, little has been done to help parents “co-parent” for the benefit of their children. Now, however, our law has increasingly recognized the benefits of resolving custody and parenting time matters whenever possible and, in addition, the unquestioned benefits of parents effectively communicating with one another and, when necessary, seeking the assistance of a mediator, parenting coordinator, and/or therapist to help them effectively co-parent for the benefit of their children.
Parenting coordination provides the parties with a professional third party who can help the parents resolve their differences and, if necessary, act as an “arbitrator” and or “therapist with teeth” by deciding the issue which the parents cannot agree upon.
Mediation provides the concerned parents with the opportunity to resolve their custody and parenting time differences with the assistance of a third-party who, if qualified to practice law in the state of New Jersey, can also prepare a written agreement memorializing the agreed upon settlement terms reached by and between the concerned parents. Alternatively, sometimes parents can resolve their custody and parenting time differences in the context of family therapy and/or by involving a therapist retained solely for the benefit of the children. While parents are not required to do so, if children are seeing a therapist, that therapist can often help parents resolve their custody and parenting time differences.
Parenting coordination is, however, a different animal than both mediation and traditional therapeutic solutions. Parenting coordination provides the parties with a professional third-party who can both help the parents resolve their differences and, if necessary, act as an “arbitrator” and or “therapist with teeth” by “deciding” the issue which the parents cannot agree upon. In this way, the parenting coordination option provides parents with the best of both worlds; the opportunity to utilize the services of the third-party professional to help them reach agreements of and concerning their children and/or, worst-case scenario, have that same third-party “decide” the disputed issue without court proceedings and/or additional therapy. While the parent who agrees with the parenting coordinator will still potentially have to file an enforcement application with the court should the other parent refuse to comply with the recommendations received from the parenting coordinator, that parent is generally entitled to an award of attorney fees and costs, potentially including the fees paid to the parenting coordinator, as part of their enforcement application. Issues that parents can choose to address with the help of their parenting coordinator include the following:
- Minor changes or clarifications of parenting time/access schedules or conditions including vacation, holidays, and temporary variation from existing parenting plan;
- Procedures for transitions or exchanges of the children including, date, time, place, means of transportation and transporter;
- Healthcare management including, but not limited to, medical, dental, orthodontic, vision, and other specialties;
- Child-rearing issues, including, but not limited to, disciplinary practices, bedtime routines, diet, and homework support;
- Psychotherapy or other mental health care, for the children and parents;
- Psychological testing or other assessment of the children and parents;
- Education or daycare, including choice of school, tutoring, summer school, participation special education testing programs, or other major educational decisions;
- Enrichment and extracurricular activities, including camps and employment;
- Religious observances and education;
- Children’s travel and passport arrangement;
- Clothing, equipment, and personal possessions of the children;
- Verbal or written communication, including any forms of electronic communication between parents of and concerning the children;
- Verbal or written communications, including any forms of electronic communication by and between a coparent and children when they are not in the coparents care;
- Alteration of appearance of the children including haircuts, tattoos, even body piercing, and cosmetic surgery;
- Roles of in contact with significant others, romantic interest, and extended families;
- Substance misuse assessment were testing for either or both parents or for a child, including access to results; and
- Parenting classes for either or both parents.
The above-itemized issues sadly cost parents thousands of dollars to address and the process itself can be both exhausting and damaging to the relationship the parents hopefully hope to maintain for the benefit of their children. The effective parenting coordinator accordingly helps concerned parents both problem-solve and, when necessary, move on from the recurring disputes and court proceedings by “deciding” unresolved parenting disputes in accordance with the concerned children’s best interests and applicable law, without the costs and acrimony involved with litigation and/or dueling custody experts. The effective Parenting Coordinator works with the parents as a “parenting team”, with the Parenting Coordinator serving as a conduit for communications between co-parents until the parents can ideally develop the skills necessary to respectfully communicate with one another of and concerning their children without the assistance of their Parenting Coordinator. Even in those cases, parents can still return to address any future issues with the same Parenting Coordinator they previously utilized if they wish to submit future “child-related” issues as and when they may occur.
All we are saying is “give peace a chance” by utilizing a parenting coordinator and mediator to help you virtually resolve any and all disagreements of and concerning your children. If you’re even remotely interested, please call us at (856) 627-0100 or email us at [email protected] to schedule a free phone consultation to address any questions or concerns before we schedule your first virtual session with Howard S. Mendelson, Esq.