Basics of Parent Coordination
Parent coordination is the process in which parties work with a Parenting Coordinator to identify and reduce the effects of conflict on the child(ren). Part of the role of the parent coordinator (PC), is to educate parents and help them find ways to meet their children’s needs. The PC works as a third-party (like a mediator) to facilitate conversation between the parents on making decisions.
Benefits of Parent Coordination
- This process is designed to help families with making decisions
- Addresses day-to-day issues
- Saves time and money.
- Less interaction with lawyers, fees, and waiting for lawyers to speak to one another.
- Encourages joint decisions
- Not confidential, PCs can be called to testify as fact witnesses at trial
- Results in written decisions (PC notes are admissible as evidence in court)
- It is a long-term resource vs. mediation that only lasts a short time
- The PC gets to know the family and “grows” with the family over a period of time
Appointing a PC
A parent coordinator may be appointed on a motion of a party, on joint request of the parties, or on the Court’s own initiative.
Finding a Qualified PC
PCs must meet the strict qualifications necessary to be court-appointed. This includes:
- 40 hours of parent coordination training
- 20 hours of family mediation training that meets the requirements of MD Rule 17-106(b)
- A postgraduate degree (in psychology, counseling, conflict management, negotiation, social work, or a related area, or from an accredited medical or law school)
- Three years of professional experience
Bethany G. Shechtel, Esq. and Jaime E. Seaton, Esq. are trained parent coordinators and are able to help your family navigate co-parenting your children in a collaborative and effective way. To learn more about parent coordination and to see if it may be right for you, contact BGS Law, LLC today.