The Parenting Coordinator is a mental health professional whose role is to help parents reduce, mediate, and settle conflicts pertaining to matters regarding their children. The Parenting Coordinator acts as a communication facilitator for families, and may even serve as a provider of parental education. In the case of an impasse or when parents cannot come to reach an agreement, the Parenting Coordinator may also arbitrate decisions within their scope. The limits of the Parenting Coordinator’s jurisdiction, along with the role of the Parenting Coordinator are outlined directly in the Parenting Coordination contract which is signed by both parents prior to the commencement of the Parenting Coordination process. Parenting Coordinators are not permitted to make changes to existing court orders or separation agreements in the areas of Decision Making or Parenting time. There is no alternative resolution process that may do so – only a court can make changes in these areas.
Ideally, the goal of the Parenting Coordinator is to get the parents to a place where their role is no longer required. An effective and successful Parenting Coordinator will help parents resolve the presenting issues; but perhaps more importantly, will supply parents with the right tools so that they may resolve their future issues on their own. In a nutshell, parents need to learn to work effectively with their ex-partners and their children as children fare best when they are shielded from conflict.