Parenting coordination is another dispute resolution service designed to assist high conflict parents. A Parent Coordinator (PC) is a mental health professional or lawyer with experience and knowledge in the areas of separation/divorce, high conflict, child development, parenting plans, family systems, domestic violence and relevant legislation.
While parents may have a final separation agreement or a final Court order, there are often small day-to-day matters that do not get included in the parenting plan but present a significant amount of conflict between co-parents. Research shows that this type of inter-parental conflict has the most detrimental effects on children’s emotional and psychological well-being and long-term outcomes. The assistance of A PC can help reduce this type of inter-parental conflict.
Parenting Coordination includes elements of education, coaching, mediating, and at times, arbitrating. A PC will attempt to minimize parental conflict by helping co-parents develop more effective problem-solving skills, communication skills, and enhancing mutual trust and respect.
In cases where there is a dispute and parents are unable to come to a mutual agreement during the mediation phase of the PC process, the PC has authority to make final and binding decisions while keeping the children’s best interests at the forefront.
Alternatively, a two-person PC model can be suggested whereby the use of a neutral co-retained family lawyer is used to fulfill the arbitration function.