Serving the needs of separated and divorcing families

What is Parenting Coordination?

What is a Parenting Coordinator?

A Parenting Coordinator (PC) is a mental health or family law professional who has had a minimum of 20 hours of PC training. They work as a neutral professional to help high-conflict families minimize conflict while shielding their child from parental conflict and loyalty binds. The process is a hybrid approach combining family law and mental health. It is a non-confidential process which allows the PC to monitor and facilitate cooperation between homes. Parents may utilize a PC pre or post divorce.

What are the benefits of Parenting Coordination?

When Parenting Coordination is successful it will reduce stress on your children and save you and the other parent the expense and stress of on-going ligation. Although parents are discouraged from seeking court action some return to court.  Since the process is non-confidential the PC is able to testify to what they have witnessed in the process which is often helpful to the court in better understanding the dynamics at play between the parents.

What are the goals of Parenting Coordination?

The primary goal is to help your child adjust to their two homes by reducing the unnecessary stress of high-conflict divorce. A parenting coordinator combines assessment, education, case management, mediation, and at times, arbitration functions when granted this authority by the court.  While the PC may see the children at least one time, they remain the focus of the parenting coordination process. Parents attend joint meetings.

How is Parenting Coordination different from Co-Parenting Counseling?

Both parenting coordination and coparenting counseling provide an option for solving coparenting issues while improving your coparenting relationship. Both of these neutral professionals assist parents realign their relationship while minimizing stress for children, They focus on communication, conflict resolution skills, children’s developmental issues, and children’s issues in divorce.  Parenting coordination is a non-confidential process while co-parenting counseling is confidential, and therefore not effective for the high-conflict cases. The non-confidential nature of parenting coordination allows the professional to provide information to attorneys and at times the court.  As a result, the PC has a greater ability to implement interventions aimed at improvements in the parental team.  A co-parent counselor’s ability to assist parents is hampered by their inability to report to the court and more suited for mild to moderate parental conflict.

How do you get trained as a PC and how is one appointed?

The Cooperative Parenting Institute now offers an online training program for professionals who wish to become a parenting coordinator. You may read more here:

In states that have parenting coordination statutes, parenting coordinators are usually appointed by the Court. Otherwise parents are required to agree to the appointment. Every appointment must be accompanied by a detailed appointment document such as a court order, consent order or a private stipulation.

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