Information on Law in New York State
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/ Information about the NYS Unified Court
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts PC Guidelines
American Psychological Association PC Guidelines
Model Court Order – Nassau County Court Pilot Parenting Coordination Program
Parenting Coordination Guidelines from 8th Judicial District
Matrimonial Commission Report to the Chief Judge of the State of New York, Feb. 2006
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/ip/matrimonial-commission NYS Matrimonial Commission
http://www.afccnet.org Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
http://www.afccny.org New York Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
http://www.aaml.org American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys
PARENTS ARE FOREVER
How to Protect Your Children, when You are Living Apart.
On Long Island, one out of every two marriages dissolves before most of the children are raised and independent. One of the most difficult challenges facing parents at the time of separation is deciding how they will divide responsibility for and time with their children.
Parents sometimes fear that the loss of their adult relationship will also mean loss of their parent-child relationship. Children affected by their parents divorce are often subject to their parent’s emotional turmoil and are in danger of being hurt in the process. Also, frequent change in economics and in work situations can deplete a person’s ability to parent. Furthermore, parental anger and bitterness can cause one parent to attempt to turn a child against the other.
In 2004, the Honorable Judge Anthony Marano established the first Parent Coordinator Program in New York State designed to encouraged parents who are involved in custody and visitation litigation to obtain intervention, advice and guidance from uniquely qualified and experienced professionals before resorting to Court intervention. These professionals are asked to make recommendations that are in the best interest of the children.
Children need Both of Their Parents in the majority of divorces, to protect them and to help them sustain healthy and meaningful parent-child relationships. Children that are estranged from one parent for any reason often suffer the following:
1) Reduced ability to develop a healthy Self-Esteem. Children struggle with split identification. They experience themselves as either “perfectly good” like one parent or “completely bad” like the other parent.
2) The tendency to abruptly cut off or back away from relationships, rather than work them out. These children have black and white views not only towards themselves but other children as well.
3) Comfort is eroded in relating to persons of the other sex when they are aligned with the parent of their own sex. A boy in the process of rejecting his mother may also reject his need for feminine connection. Girls who are alienated from their fathers can become overly submissive and feel less confident about their femininity.
4) Estranged children, especially adolescents, are potential candidates for anxiety, depression, and self-destructive behavior such as sexual acting-out and substance abuse.
A Parent Coordinator is highly trained in the areas of alternative dispute resolution, child development and family dynamics, domestic violence and substance abuse. They are experienced with the local court system and with the special needs of children of divorce.
How to obtain a Parent Coordinator? Judges or attorneys can offer appropriate families the choice to be assigned to one. A judge may also order families for Parent Coordination.
GISELE E. KEHL PH.D.