More than one million children each year are affected by divorce and family separation. Over half of these children will continue to be effected by the conflict of their parents. Many of these broken families will remain in the court system due to their inability to resolve their conflicts successfully. Children raised in an atmosphere of high conflict are four to five times as likely to grow-up with serious emotional and behavioral difficulties. Consequently, high-conflict divorces pose grave concerns for the mental health and legal professionals. In order to minimize the adverse effects Parenting Coordination is a fairly new process to dispute resolution. It was developed for high conflict cases where court intervention, counseling and/ or mediation did not resolve disputes over parenting time effectively.
Parenting Coordination is child focused. It utilizes the skills of a trained professional (The Parent Coordinator) to assist parents who are in high conflict situations to establish and maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship. The PC is appointed by the court through a court order, making this a non-confidential process. The PC case manages, educates, and mediates the case by working with the parents to reduce conflict and high risk factors that influence the child’s post-divorce adjustment. The PC also works to ensure that parents are fulfilling their obligations to their child while complying with the recommendations of the court. Through the court order, the PC may document parenting behaviors, and conflicts, and have the authority to make decisions to help high-conflict parents who have demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to make parenting decisions on their own. The role of the parenting coordinator is outlined by the authority granted in the court order or the stipulation of the parties and may be shared with the court through written reports or testimony.
» Download Order Appointing Parenting Coordinator (PDF)
For more information: afccnet.org/pdfs/AFCCGuidelinesforParentingcoordinationnew.pdf