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.