What is Parenting Coordination?
Parent Coordination (PC) is a form of dispute resolution for coparents who are unable or unwilling to jointly make parenting decisions, communicate effectively, comply with parenting agreements and orders or shield their children from the impact of parental conflict (2019 Association of Family and Conciliation Courts). Through coaching, education, mediation, and case management, the family’s progress is monitored to ensure that parents are fulfilling their obligations to their child(ren) and the Court’s recommendations. The PC must be appointed by the Court, pre or post-divorce/separation.
How Can a PC Benefit Parents?
Legal custody and parenting time are usually outlined in a Parenting Plan approved by the Court. However, there is no consistency in these orders as they can be drafted by an attorney or by the parents themselves, and they are often left ambiguous in nature. Non-specific parenting plans will likely increase the potential for discord with high conflict parents, leading to communication breakdown and further litigation. Parenting coordination provides a less adversarial option for families to clarify their parenting plans, learn coparenting skills, and regain focus on the best interests of the child(ren) rather than their anger toward each other.
Do I Need a Court Order for Services?
The short answer is yes – you do need a court order for most of these services. Why is that? Because without a stipulation or order from the Court, we are without the Court-given authority and quasi-judicial immunity. By the time a family gets to us, they have likely exhausted other options and one or both parents are often resistant to the process they have been ordered or suggested to follow. A stipulation gives us the authority to continually encourage and require participation from the parents and family, for the best interest of the child(ren).
We do offer parent coaching, consulting, and other educational services that do not require a court order. Our suggestion would always be to give us a call or fill out the contact form on our website to speak with an Intake Consultant about setting up a Consultation.
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