What is Parenting Coordination?
Parenting coordination is a process where an impartial third person, designated by a Court Order of appointment, helps parents implement or revise a parenting plan by facilitating the resolution of disputes between parents and/or legal guardians, providing education, making recommendations to the parties involved and, with prior approval of the parties and the Court, making decisions within the scope of the Court Order of appointment.
The Parenting Coordinator may assist the parents by providing education regarding the developmental needs of the children and the effects of parental separation on family members, effective co-parenting, and parental communication. The Parenting Coordinator monitors compliance with the parenting plan and assists the parties in effectively facilitating their time- sharing arrangements. The Parenting Coordinator will use conciliation skills to assist the parties in resolving child-related issues and reducing the potential for future parental conflict.
The process of parenting coordination is NOT confidential.
When are Parenting Coordination services beneficial?
A Parenting Coordinator may be appointed by the Court, or selected by parents who want to resolve ongoing conflicts by means other than frequent litigation through the Court, to provide the parents with assistance to effectively implement existing Court Orders concerning parenting issues when:
A. The parties have failed to adequately implement a parenting plan.
B. The parties have ongoing conflicts or disagreements in their co-parenting relationship.
C. Mediation has not been successful or has been determined to be insufficient or inappropriate to address the conflicts or disagreements.
D. The Court finds or the parties agree the appointment of a parenting coordinator is necessary to protect and sustain safe, healthy, and meaningful parent/child relationships.
E. The court has entered a provisional or final Order setting out the nature and extent of the contact between the children and each parent.
F. The parties can afford to pay for the services of a Parenting Coordinator
Parenting Coordinators: Why?
- Parenting coordination helps high conflict families resolve their disputes out of the Court and reduces the excessive use of litigation.
- Parenting coordination serves as another alternative dispute resolution method where high conflict cases with child-related issues are not suitable for mediation.
- Parenting coordination helps families resolve and survive conflict with a more intact family unit, reducing the harmful effects of conflict which jeopardizes the well-being of children.
Parenting Coordinators: Who?
A Parenting Coordinator is either a licensed mental health provider or a licensed attorney with mediation training who have extensive experience working with high conflict, separated parents.
The Parenting Coordinator assists the parents implement and/or revise a parenting plan in order to reduce the conflicts within the family and to establish a collaborative parenting relationship.
The Parenting Coordinator is NOT: A Parenting Coordinator does not serve as a custody evaluator, attorney, guardian ad litem, mediator, therapist, or financial advisor.
Is the Parenting Coordination process for me/my client?
Parenting coordination services are appropriate for cases involving high conflict or ongoing conflict concerning child-related issues, such as when:
- Mediation has not been successful or has been determined by the Judge to be inappropriate
- Children are denied emotional and/or physical access to a parent, or have severely limited parenting/guardian contact
- There are restrictions on children’s access to extended family members
- There is interference or refusal of access to information about child(ren)’s health, education and welfare
- The parents/guardians are unable or unwilling to agree as to substantive issues concerning the child(ren)
- There is a high rate of re-litigation, especially of non-legal issues
- There has been frequent changes in attorneys
Parenting coordination is NOT for cases in which it has been determined that the process may compromise the safety of any party, the minor children, or the Parenting Coordinator.