May 30, 2015

How Parenting Facilitation Can Help You

This page outlines the benefits of Parenting Facilitation and answers some additional questions you may have.

1. What is Parenting Facilitation?

Parenting facilitation is a dispute resolution process defined by the Texas Family Code. It assists two co-parents who are experiencing high conflict to learn ways to reduce the conflict and its negative impact on their children. It requires a court order.

2. What are the benefits of Parenting Facilitation? 

A Parenting Facilitator helps the parents by:

(1) identifying disputed issues;
(2) reducing misunderstandings;
(3) clarifying priorities;
(4) exploring possibilities for problem solving;
(5) developing methods of collaboration in parenting;
(6) understanding parenting plans and reaching agreements about
parenting issues to be included in a parenting plan;
(7) complying with the court’s order regarding conservatorship or
possession of and access to the child;
(8) implementing parenting plans;
(9) obtaining training regarding problem solving, conflict management,
and parenting skills; and
(10) settling disputes regarding parenting issues and reaching a
proposed joint resolution or statement of intent regarding those disputes.

Source: Texas Family Code Sec. 153.6061 and Sec. 153.606.

3. How can I get a Parenting Facilitator?

A Parenting Facilitator is appointed by the court. If you are interested in learning more about parenting facilitation, please ask your attorney to contact me. If you contact me directly, I will not be able to speak with you or begin services until I have a court order.

4. How are the meetings with the Parenting Facilitator conducted?

Meetings between the parenting facilitator and the parties may be informal and are not required to follow any specific procedures. The court shall specify the duties of a parenting facilitator in the order appointing the parenting

Source: Texas Family Code Sec. 153.6061(e). Duties of Parenting Facilitator

5. What model of service do you follow?

I will accomplish the duties that the court assigns to me, and I follow an educational model of service. I am not a therapist and I do not provide therapy. Instead, I teach important skills to the parties such as how to communicate effectively, solve problems, manage anger, and set appropriate boundaries. I help the parties learn ways to reduce tension so that the negative impact of the parental conflict on their children is reduced.

For example, I can help:

  • Monitor communication on Our Family Wizard
  • Facilitate compliance with court orders
  • Educate parents on positive co-parenting techniques
  • Identify sources of conflict and help parents reach agreements that are in the best interest of their children
  • Reduce chronic litigation (and protect family resources) by educating parents on problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Locate other professionals as needed such as individual counselors or alcohol and drug assessment services, etc.
  • Facilitate communication between the parents, and the other important individuals in the child’s life such as teachers, relatives, doctors, and therapists
  • Resolve disputes in designated matters assigned by the court where the parties are unable to agree
  • Assist the parties with an understanding of child development milestones and parenting skills relating to the ages of the children involved 

I will meet with the parties for as many or as few sessions as the court orders. To accomplish the full educational curriculum that I follow generally takes between 8-10 sessions. Typically I will meet with each parent individually for an initial session, and then jointly with both parents for the remaining number of sessions, though this is flexible.

If protective orders are in place or the parents desire individual sessions, then accommodations can be made. For example, the parents can have their sessions on different days, or they can meet together with me on the same day and time, but one parent will in my office and the other parent can participate via Skype. I will follow the court’s order and accommodate the parties’ needs within the parameters set by the court.

6. Is Parenting Facilitation a confidential process?

No. The facilitator is expected to report to the court. The facilitator’s records and the participants’ communications made during facilitation are subject to disclosure, and the parenting facilitator may be required to testify in court.

Source: Texas Family Code Sec. 153.6083. Communications and Recordkeeping of Parenting Facilitator; and Sec. 153.6081. Report of Parenting Facilitator

7. Who pays for the Parenting Facilitation services?

The parties are responsible for paying the services of the Parenting Facilitator.  The fees of the Parenting Facilitator shall be allocated between the parties as determined by the court. The court will not appoint a facilitator unless the court finds that the parties have the means to pay the fees.

Source: Texas Family Code Sec. 153.609

8. Will Parenting Facilitation services be covered by my health insurance? 

Generally no, because under Texas law a person who participates in parenting facilitation is not a patient as defined by the Health and Safety Code.

Source: Texas Family Code Sec. 153.6083(c)

9.  What about Conflict Resolution benefits?  

If you believe your employee benefit plan or any other coverage you possess may provide benefits for conflict resolution services, please check your coverage carefully by asking the following questions:

  • Do I have conflict resolution insurance benefits?
  • What is my deductible and has it been met?
  • How many sessions per year does my conflict resolution insurance cover?
  • What is the coverage amount per conflict resolution session?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician or any other entity?
  • What conflict resolution services are covered by my plan?

I do not participate in any plan as a provider. I do not accept insurance benefits and I do not bill insurance.  I will provide you a receipt for services. If you have coverage, you can file the receipt with your plan for possible reimbursement. 

10. What type of payment do you accept?

I accept payment by cash, credit card, or check. For your convenience, you can choose to pay your fees online using our secure link.  

Terms of service:

Payment is due when services are rendered.

A receipt for payment will be provided. 

11.  Does the Parenting Facilitator give legal advice?

No. That is your attorney’s job.  Parenting facilitators are prohibited from providing legal advice in facilitation cases even if they are licensed attorneys.

12. What are your rates for Parenting Facilitation services?

Please see the Parenting Facilitation Rates page.

Disclaimer: This website and all of its contents is for general educational and informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice, medical advice, or therapy. If you would like legal advice, please consult an attorney. If you would like mental health advice, please consult the a licensed counselor or therapist.