What is it?
A Parenting Co-ordinator is appointed by a couple who have been in a challenging separation, and who have a Parenting Agreement or Child Arrangements Order. They help to provide education about the long term effects to a family of high conflict, mediation where there may be an issue to be resolved and binding decisions in certain circumstances, when mediation has not been successful.
It works for those who have an ongoing pattern of conflict regarding arrangements for their children and are unable to agree.
The underlying principle of PC is to keep a focus on the children’s best interests and to assist parents in making the best decisions they can for their children.
Where decisions for children’s arrangements are required, and parents are unable to plan without anger, it can have a serious impact on the children’s developmental and psychological needs. The PC hopes to reduce the amount of damaging conflict to which children are exposed.
What causes harm to children is not conflict itself, but unresolved and long lasting conflict.
PC can improve the family’s immediate, and long-term narrative. It identifies strategies that can make tiny adjustments in functioning that help set a separated family on track. It shows positive role modelling for management of future relationships and can identify triggers and calm rather than stoking the fire.
It takes an educational role, recognising the positives and building from there to ensure children can flourish as best they are able.
The PC process is forward looking – it tries to draw a line in the sand – there is an emphasis on recognising a parenting relationship is a new type of relationship, hopefully a problem-solving one.
Most PC agreements last for about two years, participants can tailor make their agreement to what they both want.
It allows parents to move away from continuous court applications to vary or enforce and work together to be the best parents they can be.