What is a Parenting Coordinator or PC?
A Parenting Coordinator or PC is a neutral third party who assists parents to communicate more effectively in order to address and resolve child related disagreements and avoid multiple stressful and costly court appearances.
The PC works with parents to facilitate a resolution to parenting disputes as they arise and to create, implement and follow through with their parenting plans and goals.
In the event that after meeting and discussing matters with the PC a question or issue still cannot be resolved by an agreement between the parents, then the PC may make a recommendation as to how the dispute/issue should be resolved. In some cases the PC will make written recommendations to the Court or to a Judge in a matter.
What is the role of the Parenting Coordinator or PC?
Pcs can be appointed by the Court or independently contracted by the parents.
If the PC is appointed by the Court then the responsibilities and role of the PC is specified by the order of (or appointment) the Court. The PC may serve as a facilitator, a mediator, and in certain instances the PC will serve in the role of an arbitrator or make written recommendations to the Court.
If the PC is independently contracted by the parents then the PCs role is determined between the parents and the PC. The PC can serve to facilitate communication between the parents, provide written information and suggest resources to the parents, act as an educator, a case manager or even as a decision maker. Additionally, by agreement of the parents, the role of the PC may even include drafting minutes of the meetings, making written recommendations or drawing up agreements between the parents.
The concerns and issues which the PC can address may range from parenting time, parental access for special occasions, holidays or vacations, travel concerns, pickup times and locations, telephone contact, educational or therapy plans for a child, a child's schooling, extracurricular activities or education courses, a child's medical issues, therapy and consultation issues, to assistance in establishing protocols for
problem solving or decision making. In many cases the parents contract with the Parenting Coordinator for a period of one year.
What are the benefits of being Involved in Parenting Coordination?
The Parenting Coordination Process provides for consistent, prompt and caring assistance to parents who cannot readily resolve issues regarding their children between themselves without the assistance of a neutral third party. The PC can also model effective communication methods while focusing on the best interests of the child/children. In some instances, parents or the court may request the PC to decide matters when parents are unable to agree so that a decision can be made on an important issue in a timely manner or before an emergency occurs.
Additionally, using a PC can avoid the inherent stress, expense and collateral damage of litigating a matter in Court while allowing both parents to discuss their concerns in a respectful and productive manner. In other cases, using a PC can serve to solve the parenting issues in a separation, divorce or post divorce matter while allowing parties to litigate only what absolutely has to be litigated.
How is a Parenting Coordinator or PC paid?
Currently, there is no legislation in Massachusetts that provides direct funding for Parenting Coordinators; therefore the PCs fees are paid by the parents in a proportion that is either agreed to between the parents or set out in an order by the Court. In most cases a retainer is requested prior to beginning the
Parenting Coordination process.
At Mediation By Choice, the hourly rate charged by the PC is clearly set down in a written agreement signed by both parents and the PC. Additionally, if a retainer is required the amount of the retainer is also set out in the written fee agreement between the PC and the parents.
Please feel free to contact this office and schedule an appointment to discuss
how you may benefit from the Parent Coordination Process.
If you have an attorney and she or she has been ordered by the court to suggest a list of parent coordinators, we will be pleased to speak with your attorney and discuss if our office
can assist in the process as well as our fees and policies.
We are available for in person meetings and telephone conferences and will travel, when appropriate, to meet with parents and other professionals. There is usually no fee for travel time and hours and meeting times are flexible and include evening and weekend appointments.
You may contact this office by telephone at 781-444-8888or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.