July 12, 2023
Which matters would benefit from Parenting Coordination (PC)
When and why a matter might be referred to PC
The parenting coordination (PC) process may benefit certain matters once they have reached a final parenting plan, or Order.
Sometimes PC is part of final orders. It may have been forecasted that the parents may encounter future disagreements regarding their children. The judge, lawyers, or other family law professionals may have recognised the long term conflict between the parents and have incorporated appropriate provisions when finalising orders.
In other circumstances, matters are referred to parenting coordination due to their ongoing litigation and challenging case management. These parents have often engaged multiple solicitors, mediators and family law professionals. These matters may have been characterised with multiple court applications, back-and-forth inflammatory correspondence, and allegations of parental misconduct.
What type of matters may benefit from PC
A goal of parenting coordination is to assist with the implementation of a parenting plan or court order.
The process can be beneficial in various family law matters that involve ongoing co-parenting disputes or high-conflict situations. Here are just some examples of matters where parenting coordination may assist:
- Implementation of Orders and Parenting Plans: When parents have difficulty implementing or adhering to the terms of orders or a parenting plan, a parenting coordinator can assist in facilitating communication, resolving disagreements, and ensuring the plan is followed effectively.
- Co-parenting conflicts: Parenting coordination is often used in cases where parents have ongoing conflicts or disagreements related to parenting decisions, schedules, discipline, extracurricular activities, education, or healthcare. The parenting coordinator (PC) can help mediate these disputes and promote effective co-parenting.
- Parental communication issues: If parents struggle with communication or have difficulty effectively exchanging information about their children, a parenting coordinator can facilitate and improve communication between them. This can include addressing issues such as miscommunication, hostility, or lack of cooperation. A PC can assist to establish communication boundaries and protocols, and monitor parental communication, if necessary.
- Temporary changes to ‘live’ and ‘time’ arrangements: PC can assist parents to articulate and discuss the issue and assist in developing a modified plan, if agreed.
- High-conflict divorces or separations: Parenting coordination can be particularly valuable in high-conflict cases where parents find it challenging to make decisions together or maintain a cooperative relationship. The parenting coordinator can act as a neutral third party to reduce conflict and facilitate the resolution of disputes.
- The impact of the changing ages and stages of the children: If an agreement or order was made when children were considerably younger, parents may need assistance discussing how their agreement may need modification to address the changing needs of their children. It is important to note that variation of an order is the responsibility of a court, not the parenting coordinator. A PC will assist parents to identify when a requested change necessitates court intervention.
If you are interested in becoming a qualified parenting coordinator, please visit our website for further details on our upcoming training.
© Anne Purcell PhD and Cassandra Pullos, Co-founders of Parenting Coordination Australia