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Parenting Coordination
A service offered by Rebecca M. Cohan, LICSW
Parenting Coordination is a child-centered dispute resolution service that assists parents in developing and implementing workable parenting plans when they are unable to do so on their own. 

A Parenting Coordinator is a highly skilled neutral with knowledge and experience in conflict resolution, child development, family systems and domestic violence.






Parenting Coordination helps:
  • Reduce conflict between parents.
  • Reduce chronic litigation (and preserve family resources).
  • Raise parents’ skill level in collaborative planning and decision making for their children.
  • Assist parents in co-parenting in a way that promotes the well being of their children.

To reach these objectives, the Parenting Coordinator serves several important functions:

  1. Assessment:

    The Parenting Coordinator gathers information in order to assess:
    the impasses that derail communication and decision making
    parenting strengths, weaknesses, and co-parenting skills
    the children’s functioning and needs

    The Parenting Coordinator may do this by reviewing written evaluations and reports, and talking with other significant individuals involved with the family (doctors, therapists, school personnel, lawyers, etc.)  The Parenting Coordinator may meet with the parents individually or jointly, and communicate by telephone, fax and email.  The Parenting Coordinator may decide that it would be helpful to meet with the children.

  2. Education:

    The Parenting Coordinator provides important information and assistance regarding:
    • child development
    • short and long term needs of the children
    • the effects of conflict on children
    • family issues (e.g., transitions, new relationships, blended families)
    • communication skills
    • collaboration strategies
    • problem solving options


  3. Intervention and Conflict Management:

    The central tasks of the parenting coordinator are to:
    • identify, clarify, articulate and organize the areas of disagreement
    • facilitate productive communication on these issues
    • assist in brainstorming options, including those offered by experts involved with the family
    • guide a negotiating process which maintains a focus on the needs of the children
    • make decisions for the parents when they are unable to come to agreement

    The Parenting Coordinator does not make custody recommendations or decisions. Custody recommendations are made by a guardian ad litem and custody decisions are made by the Court. With those limitations, the scope of issues addressed by the Parenting Coordinator is still wide.

    Issues include:


    • Healthcare management including medical, dental, orthodontic and mental health care
    • education or daycare including school choice, tutoring, participation in special education programs, and other major educational decisions
    • extracurricular activities including camps, teams, and jobs
    • religious observances and education including time, place and logistics
    • time share/visitation schedule including children’s travel, vacations, holidays and variations from the usual schedule
    • transitions/exchanges of the children including date, time, place and transportation
    • decisions about children’s personal possessions, including clothing and equipment
    • communication between the parents about the children including telephone, fax and email
    • decisions regarding alteration of appearance of the children including haircuts, ear and body piercing, tattoos

It is not surprising that when parents divorce and set up separate households, they also establish different household rules and lifestyles. These differences are often the focus of conflict.  Parents may hold different beliefs around the supervision of children and disciplinary interventions, around homework, etc. Conflicts also arise around parental dating and the role of significant new partners.   Problems may come with the creation of step families and blended families.

While the most immediate goal of the Parenting Coordination is to resolve pressing issues and disagreements, the long term goal is to provide parents with the understanding and skills necessary to be able to resolve future disagreements on their own.