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What is Parenting Coordination?

Parenting 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.

Parenting 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.

Benefits Children by:

  • Enhancing the child(ren)'s confidence and self-esteem by creating an optimal environment for growth;

  • Reducing the child(ren)'s symptoms of stress as parental conflict decreases;

  • Diminishing the child(ren)'s sense of loyalty binds (parental behaviors causing the child(ren) to feel disallowed from loving both parents equally);

  • Increasing the likelihood of keeping two active and beneficial parents in the child(ren)'s life;

  • And creating a more relaxed home atmosphere, allowing the child to adjust more effectively.

Benefits Parents by:

  • Educating parents regarding the impact of parental conflict on the child(ren)'s development;

  • Teaching parents essential skills to support their coparenting efforts such as anger management, communication, conflict resolution. and children's issues in divorce;

  • And working with parents in developing a detailed parenting plan.

Benefits Families by:

  • Reducing the number and expense of litigated cases;

  • Convincing parent that the child(ren) come first.;

  • Offering families a valuable resource of help and support;

  • Providing prompt resolution to daily child-rearing issues;

  • Monitoring parental compliance with court orders

  • And providing the court a comprehensive picture of the family "in action" by way of court testimony.

Benefits the Legal Community by:

  • Decreasing the number of client calls and the need for micromanagement of difficult cases;

  • Improving client cooperation and compliance;

  • Providing prompt and consistent conflict resolution;

  • Monitoring compliance with the court order;

  • Reducing the number of litigated cases;

  • And providing prompt resolution to daily child-rearing issues for clients.

For more detailed information, visit Parenting Coordination Central.

The above information is adapted from the Cooperative Coparenting Institute (CPI). CPC’s parent coordinators have been trained in the highly-effective CPI model of parent coordination.

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