What is Parenting Coordination?
The aim for most parents who are navigating a separation is to land on either a Parenting Plan or a set of Consent Orders which sets out the time that either parent is to spend with the children.
For some, that process occurs with minimal conflict. For others conflict is at the forefront of every facet of their separation. It is entrenched in their communication and underpins the decision making process about everything which is being discussed as part of the uncoupling process.
There is no denying that having a set of Court Orders can provide the parties with clarity and an expectation of what their time with the children would look like.
However, as most parents will tell you, when raising children, nothing is set in stone. It is a reality of life that a degree of flexibility is involved in parenting a child particularly when life, sickness, employment and family all are likely to intervene.
For some parents there is no giving and taking in their relationship. The concept of compromise is foreign and communication is rife with hostility, when that happens, that is when Parenting Coordination can step in.
So what is Parenting Coordination?
Parenting Coordination is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution. It is very different to Mediation and the most important differences for you to note are:
Parenting Coordination is not confidential and is reportable.
The parties’ behaviour will be subject to monitoring by the Parenting Coordinator.
The Parenting Coordinator can be compelled to produce their notes and to give evidence in Court.
The Parenting Coordinator’s role is not to be neutral, but to assist the parties to understand and have insight into how their own behaviour impacts on the children.
What is the role of a Parenting Coordinator?
The role of a Parenting Coordinator is to assist the parties to implement and follow current court orders or parenting plans.
Their role is to also:
Assist the parties to resolve any disputes that may arise from the Orders or a Parenting Plan.
Educate, coach and provide information with a view to resolving conflict and to encourage child focused communication between the parties.
Assist the parties to better understand the development of their children and the physical and emotional impact of conflict on the children of the parties.
Assist with day to day co parenting issues such as email monitoring and setting ground rules for communication and interactions between the parties.
Make a non-binding direction setting out a direction that you both agree to follow.
How does Parenting Coordination work and what should I expect?
You and your ex can agree to attend upon Parenting Coordination voluntarily (‘without a court order’).
You can also be Court Ordered to attend upon Parenting Coordination.
What if issues arise outside of our scheduled appointments?
Think of your Parenting Coordinator as your out of hours emergency line.
Some Parenting Coordinator’s offer assistance to the parties as an afterhours pathway to resolve disputes that arise. The benefit of this is an immediate resolution of a problem arising between the parties.
Interested in PC and want to know more?
Dispute Resolution Centre Australia is proud to offer Parenting Coordination to parties to self-refer or those have been ordered to attend Parenting Coordination by the Court.
At present, Cassandra Kalpaxis is our Accredited Parenting Coordinator and can assist.
For more information or to enquire about PC please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org