What is a Parent Coordinator:
Parenting Coordinators assist parents by providing: (1) education about co-parenting and parental communication; (2) the psychological and developmental needs of the children; (3) strategies to manage conflict and reduce the negative effects on children; and (4) effective co-parenting.To further assist parents and children, Parenting Coordinators facilitate referrals to community providers when necessary and collaborate with other professionals who may already be involved with the family.
Specifically, a Parenting Coordinator:
a. educates parents about child development needs and the impacts of divorce on the family;
b. highlights the importance of putting the children’s needs first and looks to minimize parental conflict;
c. coaches problem-solving skills and how to resolve disagreements about parenting matters;
d. assists parents to implement, maintain and comply with an existing parenting plan;
e. makes binding decisions on parenting matters that are not court ordered if the parents are unable to agree;
Parenting Coordinators assist in the creation of a parenting plan, monitor how well it is working and help resolve disputes during its performance.
Who should use a parent coordinator?
Parents who are referred to a Parenting Coordinator may already have a separation agreement, divorce judgement or court order in place that deals with custody, guardianship and financial support matters but the parents continue to experience conflicts related to the ongoing day-to-day parenting of the children. The goal of Parenting Coordination is to minimize conflict through the use of a qualified decision-maker who can resolve parenting disagreements and help to improve communication.
How do you get access to a Parent Coordinator?
A Parenting Coordinator is typically appointed by:
The parents contract with a Parenting Coordinator to assist them to resolve parenting disputes;
A court may order that the parties attend Parenting Coordination to resolve parenting disputes;
What are the qualifications of a Parent Coordinator?
A Parenting Coordinator is usually a mediator and arbitrator, family law lawyer or mental health professional who is trained in mediation and arbitration in divorce/separation and child development. To be associated with a registered body the Parent Coordinator needs to have extensive education and experience.
Link to Qualifications of a Parent Coordinator:
Can the Parenting Coordinator do the same thing as a child therapist or my lawyer?
A: No. Although the child therapist or lawyer may have the expertise to provide a Parenting Coordinator service, if you hire one of these professionals to act as a legal representative for yourself or a counselor for your children, these professionals cannot operate as a Parenting Coordinator as well. These individuals should not act as a PC if they have already been providing another service to you and your family. You may need a child therapist and you will need legal counsel, but each of these roles should remain separate and distinct.
Is this just the same service as I would get if I went to a Mediator?
No. The Mediator is a neutral, third party who can help you work out your separation details including a parenting plan by way of a specific process, but this person cannot provide education or recommendations to the parties. The role of the Mediator is less intrusive and is typically completed in a closed, confidential way (unless the parties sign a consent for the release of information). The Mediator does work with parties in high conflict, but the duration of the conflict is typically shorter and the role of the Mediator is to help you develop the parenting plan. The Parenting Coordinator may need to speak to a variety of professionals that have been involved with your family in order to be of assistance to you. Information shared is not necessarily confidential/closed. The process is very transparent and the parties are typically both involved in all communications unless directed by the Parenting Coordinator. The Parenting Coordinator helps to organize frequency of visits and manages time-lines.
Who pays for the service?
Parents pay for the service and generally divide the fees 50/50 unless they decide they will share the costs in an alternative way. Some fees can be covered under medical section on your taxes or through individual medical coverage such as Blue Cross.