Parent Coordinator / Parent Facilitator
Now providing virtual parenting coordination/facilitation, mediation, coaching, and consultation services.
Parents who are splitting up often have conflicts about child custody and visitation matters. The court has several different professionals whose roles are to assist parents to reduce conflicts and co-parent more effectively. Two of those roles are parenting coordinators and parenting facilitators.
A parenting coordinator is a neutral third party that the court appoints to help parents who have divorced work through conflicts and implement their parenting plans. The court appoints a parenting coordinator after holding a hearing to determine whether there is a need for a parenting coordinator. Parenting coordinators work with high-conflict families to help parents make joint decisions about areas such as education, health care issues, extracurricular activities and similar matters. The work that the parenting coordinator does with families is confidential, meaning that the parenting coordinator cannot testify about what happens during the sessions with families.
Parenting coordination is for co-parents who are unable or unwilling to jointly make parenting decisions, communicate effectively, comply with parenting agreements and orders or shield their children from the impact of parental conflict.
A PC makes recommendations and, if authorized, legally binding decisions for co-parents and may report to the court; therefore, a PC should be appointed by and accountable to the court. Both co-parents may agree to participate in the parenting coordination process, and in some jurisdictions this agreement may be implemented without a court order. However, a court order is prudent in these cases.
Parenting coordination is a legal-mental health role that combines assessment, education, case management, conflict management, dispute resolution, and, at times, decision-making functions. Parenting coordination is a child-focused process conducted by a licensed mental health or family law professional, or a certified, qualified or regulated family mediator under the rules or laws of their jurisdiction, with practical professional experience with high conflict family cases.
The parenting coordinator assists co-parents engaged in high conflict co-parenting to implement their parenting plan by: (1) facilitating the resolution of their disputes in a timely manner; (2) educating co-parents about children’s needs; and, (3) with prior approval of co-parents or the court, making decisions within the scope of the court order or appointment contract. A Parenting Coordinator seeks to protect and sustain safe, healthy, and meaningful parent-child relationships.
A parent coordinator (PC) is a person who is appointed by the court to assist parents in split families in resolving parenting issues through confidential procedures. In order for a court to appoint a PC, the court must hold a hearing to determine whether the case is a high-conflict case and/or whether the appointment of a PC is supported by good cause and the best interest of the child. (Texas Family Code sec 153.605) In addition a PC cannot be called to testify in court. A PC may submit a report to the court and parties as requested by the court. This report is limited to a simple statement as to whether the PC thinks parent coordination should continue. (Texas Family Code sec 153.608.)
A parenting facilitator also helps parents resolve conflicts. However, the work that the parenting facilitator does is not confidential. Parenting facilitators can testify about their work with families. Parenting facilitators often take more of a supervisory role, making sure that parents comply with the parenting plan and act in the best interests of their children.
A parent facilitator (PF) is a person who is appointed by the court to assist parents in split families in resolving parenting issues using procedures that are not confidential. (Texas Family Code 153.6051.) So, basically this means that the PF cannot be called to testify in court about the PF proceedings.
Parenting Facilitation is a child-centered/parent empowered dispute resolution service that helps parents in developing and implementing parenting plans when they are unable to do so on their own.
Parenting Facilitation, also known as case management helps to provide professional assistance in working together to keep their children free from the parents’ conflicts. This happens by agreement or appointment, and requires a court order signed by a judge.
Our parenting facilitation process uses an holistic education based model utilizing a Parenting facilitator and connections coach. Our team works to assigns homework tasks to give parents opportunities to implement learned skills, receive education and develop an ongoing plan.
Duties of a PC or PF
- identifying disputed issues
- reducing misunderstandings
- clarifying priorities
- exploring possibilities for problem-solving
- developing methods of collaboration in parenting
- understanding parenting plans and reaching agreements about parenting issues to be included in a parenting plan
- complying with the court’s order regarding conservatorship or possession of and access to the child
- implementing parenting plans
- obtaining training regarding problem-solving, conflict management, and parenting skills
- settling disputes regarding parenting issues and reaching a proposed joint resolution or statement of intent regarding those disputes.
A PC or PF cannot permanently modify custody or possession orders.
Meetings with the PC or PF are informal and do not have to follow any set procedures.
Typically a PC or PF is paid by both parties in an equal allocation and a retainer is given to the PC or PF to work on the case.