Oh to be rich and not have to exert yourself on actually being, you know, a parent. You can always hire a parenting “coordinator” for $375 an hour and call yourself Anne Heche!
That’s the figure hopping around the net at the moment (I found it on SoSo Juicy, then our own Brett Singer wrote about it over at ParentDish), one apparently court-ordered, so I suppose we aren’t to blame Heche and her soon-t0-be ex.
And although they’re eminently fun to mock, this parenting coordinator gig sound fascinating. So I had to find out just what they’re there to do . . . and it sounds rather . . . wait for it . . . reasonable.
A neutral third party, it’s the parenting coordinator’s job to act as a go-between during a divorce. Essentially, they mediate disputes as they relate to parenting the children. So if mom thinks taking the kid to the movie set instead of kindergarten is good (one of the claims about Heche), dad doesn’t have to throw a screaming fit and say “uh oh, no way, nanny, nanny boo boo.”
It’s easy to say parents should just get over themselves and get along – and for the sake of the kids, we’d all like to think they would. But when two people are divorcing because they disagree with each other so strongly they’re actually dissolving their marriage, that disagreement is bound to crop up on basic belief lines . . . including decision regarding their kids. And it isn’t feasible to go running to a judge every five minutes to discuss whether Johnny really deserve an XBox when his grades suck or Susie should be allowed to have her ears pierced at five or nine.
So, all agreed, great idea.
But getting back to that $375 an hour. Are they nuts? Throwing money at parenting problems won’t make them go away. Fortunately, that’s not typical. In Florida, for example, when parents opt for parenting coordination, it’s an $80 fee per hour split between them. That’s a price I’d pay for my kid’s health and well-being. How ’bout you?
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