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PARENT COORDINATOR

What is a Parent Coordinator?

It is a child-centered dispute resolution process in which a qualified, impartial professional assists separated or divorced parents to implement their parenting plan and to resolve issues or conflicts that arise concerning parenting. This can include: identifying disputed issues, reducing misunderstandings, clarifying priorities, exploring possibilities for problem solving, developing methods of collaboration in parenting, interpreting and developing the parenting plan, and aiding parties in complying with the agreement or court order regarding parenting. 

Parenting Coordination combines coaching, education, case management, conflict management and sometimes decision-making functions to help high-conflict parents, who have demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to make parenting decisions on their own or comply with parenting agreements and court orders, to avoid repeated trips to court over parenting issues. 


A Parenting Coordinator can help parents:

  • Manage conflicts

  • Communicate more effectively

  • Understand the impact of conflict on children

  • Learn about children's developmental needs

  • Negotiate appropriate post-divorce or separation boundaries

  • Develop a sensitivity to their children's needs

  • Identify mutually agreeable parenting goals

  • Brainstorm options to meet goals

  • Evaluate options to reach agreements within legal guidelines.

 

What is the goal of Parent Coordination?

  1. Take children out of the middle of parental conflict;

  2. Help to alleviate child loyalty binds;

  3. Support parent/child interaction;

  4. Provide alternative methods for parents to communicate about child-related issues; 

  5. Teach and encourage creative problem solving that involves both parents in the children's lives;

  6. Improve parents' ability to communicate and negotiate parenting issues;

  7. Increase parental respect for the sake of their children;

  8. Clarify and reduce ambiguities in existing parenting plans;

  9. Assist in the mediation of a parenting plan if needed; 

  10. Monitor parental behaviors to ensure parenting plans and court orders are complied with; and 

  11. Improve parenting to the point where a third party professional is no longer required.

The overall emphasis is to give children the opportunity to grow in a home environment free from the stress of parental conflict. The family's progress is monitored to ensure that parents fulfill their obligations to their children and comply with the parenting plan and/or court order. The process is intended to assist parents to establish and maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship by reducing parental conflict and the risk factors that influence children's post-separation adjustment, by developing and/or implementing a parenting plan and helping the parties comply with the terms of an existing plan or court order regarding parenting issues. Parenting Coordination provides an opportunity for parents to develop their ability to co-parent their children in a healthy, constructive way, rather than perpetuating conflicts that place the children in the middle of their parents' battles.

​© 2018 by Zev John Berkowitz/FamiliesHeal.org

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