What is Parenting Coordination?
Parenting Coordination is a dispute resolution process focussed on your kids.
As Parenting Coordinators, we can assist you and the other parent to transition from being former partners in dispute, to becoming effective co-parents and to focus on your children’s needs.
Parenting Coordinators are professionally trained practitioners who work with parents to implement parenting agreements, adhere to court orders, minimise conflict and protect children.
Why should we engage a Parenting Coordinator?
A Parenting Coordinator can assist you to resolve your disputes outside of the family law courts. This helps to:
- Reduce expensive legal fees.
- Guide your family through disagreements and conflict.
- Reduce the harmful effects of conflict, which can impact the wellbeing and future outcomes of your kids.
- Reduce the likelihood of future contravention applications by dealing with miscommunications, misunderstandings and filling in the ‘gaps’ in orders or parenting plans.
- Reduce the need for ongoing involvement of your lawyers having to help you resolve your disputes.
Your Parenting Coordinator can achieve a resolution of your disputes and communication issues through lots of different methods. Some of these include
- education about appropriate communication strategies;
- assistance with guiding you both in your communications with each other; and
- managing disagreements about the interpretation of family law orders or parenting plans.
Strategies may include monitoring email communication and coaching you to use more appropriate language.
Your Parenting Coordinator can assist in case managing parenting disputes after orders have been made, rather than you having to return to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia to deal with breaches or orders or contravention applications.
We find that it is usually the day-to-day arguments about changeover times, sharing of your children’s things and decisions about extra curricular activities, organising time swaps that can cause the most conflict between separated parents.
Parenting Coordination teaches you and your co-parent how to make decisions together about those issues and helps to reduce the daily tension and conflict that can occur.
Ultimately, the goal is to assist both parents over time, so that you can communicate well with each other, with as little conflict as possible, without having to return to lawyers, mediation or the Court.
Parenting Coordinator – Bron O’Loan
A Parenting Coordinator is a qualified professional (either a lawyer or social scientist) who has completed specialised training in Mediation and Parenting Coordination.
It is important to choose a Parenting Coordinator who is properly qualified and complies with the guidelines for Parenting Coordination from the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.
Our Principal Parenting Coordinator is Bron O’Loan. She is an experienced Collaborative Lawyer and is training in Parenting Coordination by Parenting Coordination Australia, under the guidelines of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).
Bron is available for Parenting Coordination in Sydney and online in all other areas via video-conferencing.
Parenting Coordination is not …
Therapy or counselling, formal evaluation or investigation, diagnosis of psychological conditions, mediation (only), legal representation, arbitration or confidential.
When should we use a Parenting Coordinator?
A Parenting Coordinator can be ordered by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia or as agreed between you and the other parent, in situations where:
- You’re finding yourself in ongoing disagreements or arguments about your parenting orders or obligations;
- There’s a history of ongoing conflict between you which is having a negative impact on your kids;
- Your ‘spend time with’ orders (or schedule in your parenting plan) needs frequent tweaking or is unclear; or
- Your child has a medical or psychological condition or disability and ongoing decisions needs to be made about their treatment.
How much does Parenting Coordination cost and who pays?
Parenting Coordination sessions are usually 90 minute joint sessions, once a month, for a period of up to 12 months. The process can finish up sooner if you and your co-parent agree for this to happen.
Sessions cost $275 plus GST for each parent. Costs are usually shared but different arrangements can be agreed or ordered, such as one parent offering to meet the entire cost of the sessions.
If your or the other parent cancel a session without sufficient notice, payment is still required to ensure the other parent isn’t financially disadvantaged.
How do I appoint a Parenting Coordinator?
A Parenting Coordinator can be appointed by a Judge (if you are represented, speak with your lawyer about this), or by parents in a Parenting Plan or Consent Orders. If you both agree to work with a Parenting Coordinator, you can contact us directly.