Co-Parenting with an ex is a challenge especially when the other parent is being obstinate or combative. Thankfully, there are co-parenting resources available aimed at achieving better conflict resolution. These include employing either a Parent Coordinator, Family Counselor, or Guardian Ad Litem to help achieve a cooperative parenting plan.

Parent Coordinator

A Parent Coordinator is an impartial third person selected either by the parents themselves or by the court to aid families in creating or following a parenting plan by helping the parents resolve parenting issues or disputes. A Parent Coordinator may be involved during a pending court case or afterward. This is beneficial when parents are unable to communicate preferences in an emotionally charged situation. Therefore, when parents can’t agree, the Parent Coordinator assists the parents in resolving disputes. This includes providing education, making recommendations, and in some cases making limited decisions. The Parent Coordinator may make recommendations for the parents to utilize additional intervention resources that could benefit the child. These include counseling, psychologists, speech therapists, and learning disability aid, among others. Typically, the Parent Coordinator is involved for a period of time, such as a year, during which multiple sessions take place. To qualify as a Parenting Coordinator, there are certain professional, certification, and training requirements that must be met.


A mediator is an impartial third party who provides a neutral space for parents to work through parenting issues. The parents may use a mediator whether or not there is a pending court case. A mediator will work with parents to create a parenting plan or resolve disputes by assisting the parents in reaching an agreement. The mediator may provide the parents with ideas on how to resolve certain issues but do not make any decisions.  Typically, mediation is one session, which will vary from three hours to a full day depending on the number of issues to be resolved. To qualify as a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, there are certain training, education, and mentorship and experience requirements to meet.

Guardian Ad Litem

The Court may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem (“GAL”) in a pending court case to investigate and evaluate the child’s best interests. Then, he or she reports the findings and recommendations to the Court. The GAL will conduct interviews with each parent and child and may also interview other individuals involved in a child’s life. These individuals could be other family members, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, or counselors who personally interact with the child. The GAL will typically visit each parent’s home to observe the living environment. The GAL may review documents such as communications between the parents, communications between each parent and child, medical records, school records. After completing the investigation and evaluation, the GAL will provide the Court with a report. Then, he or she makes recommendations on any relevant issues such as visitation, counseling, academics, and extra-curricular activities.  The court places substantial weight on this recommendation. To qualify as a GAL, there are certain certification training requirements. Typically, a mental health professional or attorney is a GAL.

More Information

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