What is Parent Coordination?
Parent Coordination is a non-therapy, non-confidential, child-centered process for conflicted divorced and divorcing parents. It is non-confidential in that the parent coordinator (PC) documents parents’ disposition and progress in the parent coordination process as well as compliance with court orders. This is usually done through memos and, if necessary, testimony to the Court. It is child-centered in that, although the child is protected from parental conflict by not being involved in the process (the PC is not the child(ren)’s therapist), the overall emphasis is to offer children the opportunity to grow in a home environment free from the devastating stress of being caught in the middle of parental conflict.
Parent coordination is also a helpful form of dispute resolution for parents for whom mediation would be inappropriate or ineffective because of there being such high levels of conflict. Through education, mediation, and case management, the PC facilitates and monitors the family’s growing ability to cooperate in following their parenting plan. They also ensure that parents are fulfilling their obligations to their child while complying with the mandates of the Court. With prior approval of the parties and/or the Court, the PC may make temporary decisions, within the scope of the current custody order or appointment contract, to help high-conflict parents who have demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to make collaborative parenting decisions on their own. The role of the PC is outlined as specifically as possible by the authority granted in the court order or through agreement between the parents.