Serving the needs of separated and divorcing families

Parenting Coordination Versus Co-parenting Counseling

Parenting Coordination is often confused with Co-parenting Counseling because the parent team is seen together in both services. Other similarities include:


  • both services focused on helping to minimize stress on the child.
  • both services involve helping co-parents to resolve co-parenting and parenting issues
  • both services may assist parents in writing their parenting plan when it is pre-divorce
  • both services attempt to minimize parental conflict and avoid litigation
  • neither service can recommend a change of custody.


  • Co-parenting Counseling is confidential and unlikely to be used in court as both parents are not likely to want to sign a waiver.
  • Co-parenting Counselor has no monitoring services so noncompliance has no ability to be reported.
  • Co-parenting Counselor does not have the authority to make temporary recommendations when time is of the essence.
  • Parenting Coordination is an appointment that is a non-confidential service.
  • Parenting Coordination allows the professional to report to the attorneys and parties regarding noncompliance with the court order.
  • Parenting Coordination allows the professional to testify in court when subpoenaed without releases from the parties


Whenever any of the following apply to a conflicted coparent relationship they should only be referred to parenting coordination.  Co-parenting counseling will not provide the necessary feedback to motivate the parents to change. 

  • Court involvement
  • Significant parental conflict or
  • Significant distress for the child
  • Frequent motions are filed or the police are called for non threatening incidents
  • When the parties have made allegations against each other

Parenting coordination services should be the only service considered.  To recommend co-parenting counseling under these circumstances is to flush the parent’s time and money down the toilet.  The only cases appropriate for co-parenting counseling are the mildly conflicted co-parents.

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