What is a Parenting Coordinator?
The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts defines parenting coordination as a child focused alternative dispute resolution method.
A Parenting Coordinator, could be a mental health or legal professional with mediation training and experience, assists high conflict parents to implement their parenting plan, by facilitating the resolution of their disputes in a timely manner, educating the parents about the children’s needs, and with prior approval of the parties and/or the court, making decisions within the scope of the court order or the appointment contract.
Your lawyer may recommend that you and the other parent jointly retain a Parenting Coordinator in Calgary. If both parents agree, then Parenting Coordination can be entered into by agreement between the parties, in compliance with the terms of a Separation Agreement or by a Consent court order.
Why Parenting Coordination?
Parenting Coordination is a recognized dispute resolution method that incorporates a mediation/arbitration process. Parents retain greater control over the process and outcomes as they determine which issues they will settle during the mediation phase and which issues require a final determination be made by the Parenting Coordinator. Parenting Coordination is cost effective.
The parenting coordinator acts in accordance with the Arbitration Act of Alberta and makes decisions as mandated by that statute. The parties enter into a contract whereby they agree to mediate specific parenting issues, such as:
- Parenting schedule
- Daily routines
- Sharing of holidays and summer vacations
- Discipline issues
- Child care/babysitting
- Transportation and exchange of children (drop off/pick up)
- Medical, dental, vision care and other medical issues
- Psychological counselling, testing and assessment
- Extracurricular activities and special events
- Education, e.g. school choice, tutoring, special needs issues
If agreement is not reached during mediation, the Parenting Coordinator is authorized to arbitrate any issue you have agreed to give them power to arbitrate and make a final decision. The decision is a final award under the Arbitration Act and as such is enforceable.
An effective Parenting Coordinator may limit or reduce the financial burden of post-separation parenting conflicts.
A Parenting Coordinator may assist you in resolving issues in a timely manner by reducing the harmful effects of adversarial litigation and focusing on the best interests of your children.
The following lawyers are qualified parenting coordinators: