Co-parenting coordination is a process that potentially resolves many of the justice system's challenges and headaches associated with families going through divorce. There are certain things that are legal issues and others that are parenting or family issues.  Because parents have had nowhere else to turn when an impasse was reached on family issues, they often came before the court.

Issues such as the Christmas vacation schedule, whether Sally goes to the Flames game with her hockey team, or who the children will be with on Halloween, can be very important to the family, but these issues are not what the judicial system is designed to address.

Co-parenting coordination can address the family issues on an ongoing basis, alleviating the court of this burden and leaving it free to deal with legal issues.

Note that most co-parenting coordination agreements stipulate that, in the event that an impasse cannot be overcome, the co-parenting coordinator will make a decision.  That decision is reviewable de novo by the court, but is binding in the interim.

Sample co-parenting coordination agreement.

What can you do as a judge?

You can encourage families to use co-parenting coordination.

When the day-to-day issues for families are not addressed, they accumulate and lead to an escalation in the conflict, which results in a deleterious impact on the children.  When parents come before you with a particular issue that seems trivial, it's gotten to that point because a multitude of other small things have not been adequately addressed.  It's like having an injured elbow, even the rub of a shirt sleeve can be excruciatingly painful.

Parenting after separation seminars are widely available, are an excellent service, and judges are excellent at promoting them, and even insisting to parents that they attend.  Similar guidance from the bench will dramatically increase the use of co-parenting coordination and that will benefit everyone.

Our hope is that this website will provide you with a thorough understanding of co-parenting coordination and a clear insight into the ways that it benefits everyone.

The on-line library has a considerable amount of reference material and most published articles are written with the legal community as the intended audience.  As a starting point, Rotman (2004) is succinct and the most suitable one for judges.

(See below for a link to, and a brief description of this article.)

Rotman, A. (2004). Parenting coordination: Facts & pending legislation. Family Mediation Quarterly, Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation, 3(1), 17-22.

Written by a retired judge, this article briefly describes what parenting coordination is and why it is needed. It then identifies why legislation is needed and describes the provisions of the proposed legislation.  It addresses issues of testimonial privilege and enforcement of a parenting coordinator's decisions.  It briefly notes what is happening nationally and what was happening locally at the time.  It includes the Parenting Coordination Bill.