The purpose of parenting coordination is to provide a child-focused alternative dispute resolution process whereby a parenting coordinator assists the parents in creating or implementing a parenting plan by facilitating the resolution of disputes between the parents by providing education, making recommendations, and, with the prior approval of the parents and the court, making limited decisions within the scope of the court’s order of referral. In any action in which a judgment or order has been sought or entered adopting, establishing, or modifying a parenting plan, and upon agreement of the parties, the court’s own motion, or the motion of a party, the court may appoint a parenting coordinator and refer the parties to parenting coordination to assist in the resolution of disputes concerning their parenting plan.
Parenting coordinators are very helpful in high conflict cases, in which parents have difficulty in co-parenting or coming to agreements regarding parenting decisions. Parenting coordinators will translate the shared parenting plan and parenting schedule into a conflict-reduction plan tailored specifically to the dynamics of the family; and assist the parents to implement that plan on an ongoing basis.
The primary aim of the parenting coordinator will be to help the parents develop strategies for:
- Parenting in a manner that minimizes conflict;
- Disengaging from each other, and
- Allowing the children to grow up free from the threat of being caught in the middle of the parents’ disputes.