Parenting Coordination (often referred to as PC) is a nonadversarial, child-focused, post-parenting plan dispute resolution process for parents experiencing high-conflict separation or divorce. The purpose of parenting coordination, is to assist parents to settle disputes regarding their children in a timely manner, monitor and facilitate compliance with existing parenting plans and related court orders and, reduce children’s exposure to damaging and harmful parental conflict.
To achieve this objective the Parenting Coordinator may take on multiple roles in the course of their involvement with parents. The PC may provide consultation to the parents; educate them regarding the child(ren)’s needs and development; coach them regarding communication and parenting strategies; mediate disputes between them, and refer them or their child(ren) to other professionals, such as therapists, if relevant. Additionally, the PC has the authority to act as an arbitrator regarding specific issues that the parents have not been able to resolve by mutual agreement.
Some of the types of issues that may be addressed in Parenting Coordination are as follows:
Minor changes or clarification of parenting time/access schedules or conditions including vacation, holidays and temporary variation from the existing parenting plan;
Transitions/exchanges of the children including date, time, place, means of transpiration and transporter;
Education or daycare including school choice, tutoring, summer school, participation in special education testing and programs or other major educational decisions;
Extra-curricular activities including camps and jobs;
Children’s travel and passport arrangements;
Clothing, equipment, and personal possessions of the children
Communication between the parents about the children including telephone, fax, e-mail, etc.
Parenting Coordination is considered the best option for dispute resolution when ...
other forms of problem or conflict resolution have been unsuccessful and when disagreements persist;
parents remain very angry at each other, and/or where the parents have difficulty sharing child-related information in an effective and child-focused manner and,
reliance on the court system to solve parenting problems results in continuous “relitigation” of parenting matters.
Parents who agree to voluntarily enter into an agreement for Parenting Coordination do so because they wish to:
a. de-escalate parental conflict
b. prioritize the child(ren)’s best interest
c. promote the child(ren)’s optimum adjustment
d. resolve issues/disputes in a timely and cost efficient manner
e. benefit from the direction of a qualified professional
Parenting Coordination Involves Two Components:
Non-decision making component, whereby the Parenting Coordinator attempts to resolve issues through facilitation, mediation, consultation, coaching and education;
Decision-making component, whereby if it is apparent to the Parenting Coordinator that continued facilitative efforts are unlikely to resolve the parental disputes, the Parenting Coordinator will act as an arbitrator and make decisions regarding specific parenting issues. In this component of the PC process any arbitration conducted is defined as ‘secondary arbitration'.