PARENTING COORDINATION

Parenting Coordination assists high conflict parents to implement their parenting plan, monitor plan compliance, and resolve conflicts regarding the children's care. This is a court mandated process, combining decision making, assessment, case management, conflict resolution, and education.

 

The Parent Coordinator is a court-appointed professional who works closely with the parents, attorneys, and the Court to make binding decisions about child-related issues, to interpret the parents’ parenting plan, and make decisions regarding the implementation of the parenting plan.

Parent Coordinators are neutral professionals who assist parents with identifying disputed issues; reducing misunderstandings; clarifying priorities; exploring possibilities for compromise; assisting with bringing about compromise; and facilitating communication based on the child’s best interests.

The Court appoints a parent coordinator if the Court finds that the case is a high-conflict case; that the Parent Coordinator appointment is in the best interest of the children; and that the parents can pay for the services of the parent coordinator.

A “high-conflict” case is one where there is a pattern of excessive litigation; anger and distrust between the parents; verbal abuse or domestic violence between the parents; or difficulty communicating about and cooperating in the care of the children.

The Parent Coordinator educates parents in co-parenting techniques, coordinates parent and family counseling by 3rd party therapists, helps accelerate the parents’ emotional disengagement from each other, offers, advice, suggestions, and recommendations, and breaks ties in the parents’ disputes.

The Parent Coordinator addresses, among other issues, the following:

  • Altering schedules as the children's needs change

  • Drop-off places and time

  • Children playing one parent against the other

  • Trading time-sharing days

  • Children's changing activities   

            Parent Coordination focuses on moving you and the other parent to work cooperatively – or at least civilly – in your co-parenting efforts. The key predictor of a child’s well-being after a divorce is their parent’s ability to stifle conflict and support the child in having a good relationship and predictable contact with both parents.  The goal of Parent Coordination is to reduce your reliance on the Court to solve problems and to return the responsibility of parenting to the parents.

The final responsibility of the Parent Coordinator is to make a recommendation to the Court about the resolution of the role of the Parent Coordinator.  In the event that one of the parents has demonstrated failure to comply with the Parent Coordinator, that recommendation can be a recommendation that sole custody of the child or children be awarded to the more consistently cooperating parent.