What is parenting coordination?
What is parenting coordination?
Parenting coordination focuses on the implementation of parenting orders, or a parenting plan and provides education, conflict management and mediation to help parents communicate and manage disagreements about parenting matters.
The Parenting Coordination process is facilitated by a Parenting Coordinator who helps families develop, implement and monitor parenting arrangements.
When should I use a parenting coordinator?
A parenting coordinator can only be engaged when there are parenting orders or a parenting plan already in place.
Parenting coordinators can assist with parents:
- who are involved in protracted disputes and disagreements about parenting matters
- where there may be repeated litigation about parenting arrangements
- where parents struggle to comply with court orders
- where parents have shown a continued inability or unwillingness to make cooperative parenting decisions
- who want to reduce child related conflicts.
The role of a parenting coordinator is not a therapeutic service i.e. not a psychologist or a counsellor. The parenting coordinator is a neutral professional and does not make recommendations or impose decisions but helps resolve issues arising from parenting orders or parenting plans which are already in use.
Why use a parenting coordinator?
A parenting coordinator does not make decisions that would change living arrangements or existing parenting orders.
When parenting coordinators are successfully engaged then this provides parents with an alternative to returning to court which will reduce the conflict and benefit to the co-parenting relationship, it encourages cooperation between the parties and healthy relationships between parents and their children.
How do the sessions with the parenting coordinator work?
A parenting coordinator is usually appointed for up to two years. Parents attend regular sessions with the parenting coordinator i.e. monthly sessions. These sessions can be alone, but most sessions are joint sessions with both parents together. A Parenting coordinator normally meets with both parties in person or over the telephone / video call to facilitate the discussions.
Parents may also be able to call upon the parenting coordinator at short notice if conflicts arise so that issues maybe promptly addressed as they occur e.g. a disagreement about change over location, change of school, implementation of time arrangements in terms of the court orders or parenting plan.
What do I do next if I am interested in engaging a Parenting Coordinator ?
If you are involved in family law matters that are ongoing in Court, speak to your family lawyer about the Parenting coordination process, if you don’t have a lawyer you can contact our offices to ask about the process.
If you have final parenting orders or a parenting plan in place and your family lawyers are no longer involved, then feel free to contact our offices to learn more about how the Parenting Co-ordination process may be able to assist in your matter.
The benefit to the parents is that they have a readily accessible professional to resolve day to day disputes that could otherwise result in high conflict which is to the detriment of the children.
McLaughlins Lawyers, Sophie Pearson and Joelene Nel, are both experienced family lawyers and have undergone specific training in parenting coordination, they would be happy to speak to you in a FREE no obligation chat, to see if Parenting Coordination is appropriate and if they can assist in your matter.
If you’re interested in parenting coordination please feel free to contact McLaughlins Lawyers on (07) 55915099 and a member of our team can help you with the process.
Author: Joelene Nel
Director: Sophie Pearson
Date: 6 August 2021