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Parenting Coordination

Once a final order is made or a parenting plan signed in relation to the living arrangements for a child or children, then what?

Lawyers and report writers are no longer required or involved, and the Court proceedings have ended. How do parents navigate the orders or communicate about their children when the haven’t been able to do so in the past?

An option is the appointment of a Parenting Coordinator (PC). This can occur when final orders are made, and in some cases when interim orders are made.

A PC is an independent qualified practitioner appointed by agreement between the parents or ordered by the Court. They assist high conflict parents to:

  • Assist in the resolution of disagreements arising from the implementation their parenting orders (or parenting plan)
  • educate parents about the ongoing impact of conflict on their children and encourage healthy conflict resolution and communication
  • monitor communication between parents
  • educate parents on how to make decisions about their children
  • reduce or eliminate on-going solicitor involvement
  • help avoid the prospect of further litigation

Parenting coordination can benefit those clients who are struggling to develop resilience and effective co-parenting after separation. It is different to mediation which is a confidential process. Parenting Coordination is non-confidential and is reportable. Whether parents engage in the process voluntarily by agreement or as ordered by the Court, they are kept accountable and their conduct and attitude inside the process is recorded.

What is the Process?

Generally, the process involves:

  • Appoint and engage a Parenting Coordinator;
  • Once engaged, the parents each have an individual session with the PC;
  • Following each parent’s individual session, the parents and PC schedule their first joint session. Following the first joint session, future appointments for joint sessions are made, and this usually occurs monthly (or as and when required);
  • Parents can ask for individual sessions if required and PC’s can sometimes speak with other relevant people such as teachers or counsellors.

The cost of a PC is generally an hourly rate shared equally between the parents. Each PC may charge differently and all PC’s require a Parenting Coordination Agreement to be signed.


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