Parenting Coordination is a process whereby a qualified and experienced mental health clinician assists parents in resolving conflicts related to their children. It is is a specific alternative dispute resolution service for high conflict parents.
Parenting Coordinators help parents minimize conflict by helping them develop problem solving and communication skills as well as educate them about child development. Parenting Coordinators assist parents with implementation of their parenting plan.
There are two components to the work of Parenting Coordinators. First, if there is a dispute, the Parenting Coordinator will help the parents resolve this through a process of mediation. If this is not successful, there is an arbitration component which becomes initiated, and the Parenting Coordinator can make a binding decision regarding the issue at hand.
Parenting Coordination is appropriate for parents where there is an existing Court Order or Separation Agreement or Parenting Plan there is a high level of conflict and other means of conflict resolution are unsuccessful parents have difficulty communicating and sharing information in an appropriate way parents need help working out changes to the parenting plan as children mature or circumstances change, or when the parenting plan lacks specifics parents are represented and have independent legal advice.
Parenting Coordinators do not make decisions about custody, mobility or changes in the usual residential schedule other than those of a minor or temporary nature.
Referral for Parenting Coordination can be made by Court Order or on referral from legal counsel. The parents establish a 12 month contract and must be legally represented.