Parent Coordination

A process using a third party to promote healthy communication between co-parents and limit the impact of toxic conflict on children. The Parent Coordinator streamlines existing parenting plans to reduce the need for parents to interact, works to build consensus when conflicts arise and make timely determinations if the parents cannot reach a resolution.

Child-Focused· Agreements that work· Long-Term Solution for Persistent Conflict· Private

Rebecca and Tony have been struggling to parent effectively. Neither wants to speak with the other parent, and important information has been falling through the cracks. They have an agreement (or order) that outlines their parenting schedule and the decision-making over the children, but every discussion is a fight. Simple things like registering the kids for activities end in emotional exhaustion, and taking the kids on any kind of trip seems impossible.

Rebecca and Tony have thought about returning to court or mediation, though they have realized most of their issues are not related to the law and the constant conflicts need immediate answers. Tony heard about Parent Coordination, a new process that was developed in the United States and British Columbia to help parents who have high-conflict interactions with each other. The goal is for the Parent Coordinator to think exclusively about the children, coach the parents, and be a tiebreaker when parents cannot agree. Tony knows he can either convince Rebecca to sign an agreement to work with a Parent Coordinator or he can ask his lawyer to put an application before the court requesting a Parent Coordinator to be appointed.

Can using this process help Tony and Rebecca over the next two years to support their children and raise resilient kids? The research suggests yes! Living with parents who interact with each other in a high-conflict manner creates toxic stress in kids; they are listening and absorbing the negativity even when Tony and Rebecca think they are shielding the kids from their conflict. By bringing on a Parent Coordinator, Tony and Rebecca can put their kids first and demonstrate commitment to meeting their kids’ needs long-term, regardless of how they feel about each other.

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