Parenting Coordination is a child-focused ADR process in which a mental health or legal professional with child development, family therapy, mediation and arbitration training and experience assists parents in high conflict to create and/or implement their parenting plans.
Parenting Coordination is a structured, mental health, ADR process that combines assessment, education, case management, conflict management, negotiation and, when necessary, decision-making functions (arbitration). Parenting Coordinators have extensive experience and qualifications for working with high conflict situations related to separation and divorce.
When to Use
This service is for families in moderate to high conflict post separation and divorce. Parents can choose to attend, are referred or enter into a Consent Order with legal counsel to attend this process. They have typically demonstrated a medium to long-term inability or unwillingness to make parenting decisions on their own, to comply with parenting agreements and orders, to reduce their child-related conflicts and to protect their children form the impact of that conflict. The Parenting Coordinator assists in decreasing conflict and helps families to begin to function more smoothly. Many families experience high degrees of frustration due to divorce impasse and this process offers them relief from this dynamic.
The Parenting Coordinator can be recommended and, later may be responsible to the Court.
Parents can enter into an agreement with a Parenting Coordinator, but the agreement details would be best outlined in a Consent Order as well. This way, the process is clear and the parties are aware of the ability of the Parenting Coordinator to potentially make decisions when the parties cannot.
Role of Service Provider
The Provider must have the following combination of expertise: Master’s Degree in a mental heath field, licensed in their area, trained Registered or Certified Mediator, trained in Arbitration, trained in working with high conflict separation and divorce, trained in parenting coordination, trained in working with domestic violence and child maltreatment.
The roles include:
Facilitation, education, consultation, assessment, conflict management, negotiation, decision-making (as directed by the court).
In cases of domestic violence, the role of the PC may change to an enforcement role (if directed by the Court Order).
PC’s will use their negotiation and mediation training to diminish conflict and to work to minimize power imbalances.
To engage in Parenting Coordination with Arbitration (decision-making) you will need to:
1) Sign a PC Agreement in office with Lorri - click here for the Parenting Coordinator Agreement
2) Establish during a meeting with Lorri a list of decision-making areas related to parenting in case you reach an impasse and you need decision-making assistance - click here to see a Sample Consent Order (sample court document)
Find out about the various alternative dispute resolution services for parents of separation and divorce: - click here (pdf document)
Commonly Asked Questions: Click here to view a list of commonly asked questions (pdf document)