Although the label is something relatively new, parenting coordination has been around for decades. Many judges, lawyers, litigants and court personnel looked for different ways to resolve minor issues related to visitation and parenting time. Using extended family, friends, religious figures, mental health professionals or attorneys available on short notice to intervene and problem solve is at the root of the model. More recently, the concept has been formalized in most of the United States and given a name: parenting coordination.
Here is an example. One of the parties receives a wedding invitation for their sister’s wedding in a different state. However, the weekend falls on the other party’s weekend. Efforts to swap or negotiate a resolution among the parties has failed. If a Parenting Coordinator has been appointed, the parenting coordinator can intervene, with no court or attorney involvement, and make recommendations for resolution.
If either party disagrees, the recommendation can be presented to the Judge, who not only follows the recommendations almost every time, but they can assess attorney fees against the difficult party. Over time, once the parties develop trust and confidence in the Parenting Coordination process, and after a challenging party is ordered to pay fees, in most cases the behavior of both parties improves dramatically and they begin to develop a more constructive co-parenting relationship which is healthier for the children.