Serving the needs of separated and divorcing families

Parenting Coordinator Qualifications

In order to provide exemplary services, Parenting Coordinators should have experience working with high-conflict families as well as training and experience in the following different disciplines:

  • Family systems theory
  • Adult psychotherapy
  • Developmental psychology
  • Family Law

In addition, professionals should have a minimum of 24 hours in parenting coordination training, such as in our PC training, to include topics such as:

  • Differences between parenting coordination and other forms of high conflict work
  • Role and responsibilities of a parenting coordinator
  • Impact of high conflict on the family
  • Coping styles of children
  • Divorce recovery
  • Children’s adjustment issues specific to divorce
  • Conflict resolution
  • Mediation techniques
  • Communication theory
  • Developmental risks associated with time sharing arrangements
  • Facilitating effective parenting plans
  • Legal aspects of divorce
  • Legal terminology and working with the legal professional
  • Protocols for different types of sessions
  • Parental alienation and visitation refusal
  • Strategies and techniques for working with conflicted parents.
  • Dealing with noncompliance and resistance
  • Working with the step parent or significant other
  • Ethical considerations
  • Managing the personality disordered parent
  • Domestic violence

States with statutes governing the role of a parenting coordinator indicate the background, training and expereince required to perform this role. In many jurisdictions parenting coordinators are also required to participate in 40-hour mediation training and domestic violence training. In all states with the exception of Texas, parenting coordinators must be at least a masters’ level professional and hold a license in mental health or family law. In Texas, a parenting facilitator must have a masters’ level degree or higher, and be a licensed professional. For example, In the state of North Carolina, the background, training and expereince of a parenting coordinator is govern by a statute.

The North Carolina statute outlines the following:
§ 50-93. Qualifications.

(a) To be eligible to be included on the district court’s list of parenting coordinators, a person must meet all of the following requirements:

  • (1) Hold a masters or doctorate degree in psychology, law, social work, counseling, medicine, or a related subject area.
  • (2) Have at least five years of related professional post-degree experience.
  • (3) Hold a current license in the parenting coordinator’s area of practice, if applicable.
  • (4) Participate in 24 hours of training in topics related to the developmental stages of children, the dynamics of high-conflict families, the stages and effects of divorce, problem solving techniques, mediation, and legal issues.

(b) In order to remain eligible as a parenting coordinator, the person must also attend parenting coordinator seminars that provide continuing education, group discussion, and peer review and support. (2005-228, s. 1.)

Source: www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/byArticle/Chapter_50  Visit the section on legislation for further clarification on state requirements.

Parenting Coordination Statues

This information is accurate of 2022. Please always check your State or Province.

States with Limited Statutory Authorization:

  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Vermont

Authorized through related or non-specific statute:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Wisconsin

Authorized through a Local Rule

  • Maryland

Canadian Provinces

  • British Columbia
  • Ontario

The Appointment of a Parenting Coordination

Parenting Coordinators are appointed by way of court order, consent order or by a stipulation of the parties.  The document reflects the role and responsibilities of the professional appointed to work with the family.  It will also determine if the parenting coordinator may make temporary decisions or recommendations.  These important factors will be determined by local rule, state statutes or based upon the agreement of the two parties.  Two sample consent orders are included below.  Be sure to check for statues and local rules to help determine the wording of your document.  The first consent order reflects the least amount of authority to the parenting coordinator.  The second consent order reflects a greater degree of authority granted to the parenting coordinator. 

PC Guidelines

The first parenting coordination guidelines were written in 2003 by the Cooperative Parenting Institute as part of their training model for parenting coordination. The AFCC also created guidelines in 2005.  For more information on the AFCC guidelines visit www.afccnet.org.

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