Parenting coordination is a style of dispute resolution that is a child centred process to help parties in high conflict parenting matters.
The role of this dispute resolution technique is to appoint an accredited family dispute resolution practitioner who also has specialised training in parenting coordination known as “the parenting coordinator” to assist parents to organise ongoing parenting arrangements. Parenting coordination can be used before commencement of any court proceedings to help work out arrangements, during any high conflict court matter and in many cases, after the court orders are made to assist with ongoing implementation of any final orders.
Throughout the process of parenting coordination there is education, mediation and case management and there is monitoring by the parenting coordinator appointed by the parties to ensure the best outcomes of their children.
The main role of the parenting coordinator is to assist parties with ongoing disputes particularly disputes that are likely to continue after agreements are reached. The parenting coordinator may be able to help to address issues of the ability of parents to work together for agreed outcomes for the child or children as well as to establish and maintain a co-parenting relationship and this is done by reducing parental conflict in scheduled organised meetings to discuss issues as they arise.
The benefit for children of appointing a parenting coordinator include:
- Enhancing the child’s confidence and self esteem;
- Diminishing any sense of loyalty of the child through the involvement of both parents in decisions;
- Increasing the likelihood of each of the parents being involved in decision making with the assistance of an independent third party;
- Hopefully reducing symptoms of stress through the reduction of conflict;
- Creating a more relaxed home environment allowing the child to adjust more effectively
Parents also obtain benefits in parenting coordination by:
- Working together to appoint an independent person to assist with their conflict;
- Appointing someone who is a trained and accredited family dispute resolution practitioner as well as parenting coordinator utilising their expert skills and assistance;
- Working with the parenting coordinator to detail either the development of an agreed plan of parenting or to interpret and comply and monitor court orders where appropriate.
It is important to note that a parenting coordinator is completely independent and is not appointed by only one party. The appointment is usually a joint decision and jointly funded by each of the parties. In cases where a Judge appoints a parenting coordinator, the Judge may in fact appoint somebody without consulting each of the parties. However, in the vast majority of cases the appointment is made cooperatively with both parents in put.
At Rafton Family Lawyers we have a team in our alternative dispute mediation and arbitration division that are accredited parenting coordinators and are able to assist in this area.
Please contact us or book online at www.rafton.com.au/contact