Disputes and conflict do not always end after court orders or agreements have been reached. The nature of drawn-out family law disputes can mean that conflict becomes entrenched and is hard to overcome. Parents don’t necessarily have the right tools to move on from what’s happened in the past and focus positively on their future co-parenting arrangement.
I often hear from parents “What now? How can I co-parent after everything that’s happened?”
Parenting Coordination is a service to help parents resolve minor disputes and adhere to parenting orders and agreements. We work with both parents in a safe, collaborative and child-focused manner.
Parenting Coordinators are recommended by the Court, ICL, Lawyer, a Mediator, or direct by parents.
Parenting Coordination helps to minimise stress on all the family. As a trained facilitator, my commitment is to help you learn new strategies and create new patterns so you can each move on with your lives and be the best parent you can be for your children.
Children’s outcomes after separation and divorce are improved when parents have the least amount of conflict. I know you want the best for your children, and my aim is to help you be the best you can be.
What is Parenting Coordination?
Parenting Coordination is a child centered process for conflicted, separated and separating parents. It is a form of dispute resolution and child development education for parents, to help them implement their Parenting Orders or Parenting Plan.
We recognise the conflict doesn’t stop once a Parenting Orders have been made or Agreement has been reached. Often that’s when the really hard work of day to day working together begins and the uncertainties about the orders can appear.
Through education, mediation and case management, the family’s progress, post-separation, is monitored to assist the parents to ensure the best possible outcomes for their children.
How Can a Parenting Coordinator (PC) Help?
Implementing parenting orders or a parenting plan after a relationship breakdown can be difficult. Parenting Orders may have been decided on by a judge, or agreed on by parents with the assistance of their lawyers and/or a mediator. The conditions are set.
Have the conflicts with the other parent regarding the children suddenly stopped just because you have your Agreement?
How about communication?
Did the Agreement you signed make it so that you and the other parent magically start effectively communicating?
Many parents have no real idea what shared parenting is much less how to incorporate it in their day-to-day lives. Quite often it is rarely the big, life-altering issues that cause the greatest amount of conflict between parents. The majority of conflicts are over altering agreed upon drop-off times, change-over locations or changing timesharing schedules.
A Parenting Coordinator may be able to help you and the other parent with just these types of issues. PCs help parents by initially assisting them with reaching agreements about these ad hoc issues and ultimately teaching them how to make decisions together and reduce daily conflict over ordinary decisions. By assisting parents in resolving these issues, PCs can reduce, and often eliminate, much of the lawyer’s
involvement that often occurs with the ongoing parental conflict, saving the parents time and money.
PC assists parents to establish and maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship by reducing parental conflict and the risk factors that influence a child’s post-divorce adjustment. The overall emphasis is to offer children the opportunity to grow in a home environment free from the devastating stress of being caught in the middle of parental conflict.
Parenting Coordination Benefits Children by:
- Enhancing the child’s confidence and self-esteem by creating an optimal environment for growth.
- Reducing the child’s symptoms of stress as parental conflict decreases.
- Diminishing the child’s sense of loyalty binds.
- Increasing the likelihood of keeping two active parents in the child’s life.
- Creating a more relaxed home atmosphere allowing the child to adjust more effectively.
Parenting Coordination Benefits Parents by
- Educating parents regarding the impact of parental conflict on the child’s development.
- Teaching parents anger management, communication and conflict resolution skills, and children’s issues in divorce.
- Working with parents to assist them to resolve both “the little things” and the bigger issues that always arise when trying to implement parenting orders or parenting plans in the day to day practicalities of everyday life.
Parenting Coordination Benefits Families by
Reducing the post orders or agreeements conflict.
- Coaching parents to put the needs of their children first in a real and meaningful way.
- Providing prompt assistance in the resolution of the day to day issues that arise in putting parenting orders and agreements into practice.
- Monitoring parental compliance with the Parenting Orders or Parenting Plans
- Reducing the overall conflict that the entire family experiences when parents cannot get along, cannot make decisions and cannot communicate. This benefits the most defenceless victims of high conflict parenting – the children.
How Does it Work?
- The parents and the PC sign an Agreement noting the terms of the engagement, the process and the expectations of the engagement.
- The parents each have an individual session in the first instance. These are followed by joint sessions which include both of the parents and the PC. If there are safety concerns the “joint sessions” will be done so that the parties don’t come into contact with each other.
- Parents continue to attend sessions, usually on a monthly basis, until the PC advises that the matter can move to an ‘as needed’ basis.
- In addition to session attendance, either parent can contact the PC with a concern or difficulty and the PC will communicate with the other parent about these issues in an attempt to reach a timely resolution.
- The PC will educate the parents on how to begin to manage this process themselves so that eventually the parents can disengage the PC and manage their co-parenting themselves.
- The parents will usually share equally in the cost of all communications with the PC.
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