Parenting coordination is a process that assists divorced or separated parents to co-parent on an ongoing basis. Parenting coordination typically commences after parents have received a Parenting Order or Agreement. Parents must agree to the parenting coordinator, who is usually a Family Lawyer or a Mental Health Professional with extensive training in parenting coordination, Mediation and Arbitration. Once the parenting coordinator has been chosen and an agreement signed, the parenting coordinator will address any immediate issues but will also help to determine issues as they arise from time to time. The parenting coordinator will first attempt to mediate the issues but if agreement is not achieved, the parenting coordinator will arbitrate and make a binding decision.

The parenting coordinator can assist in many ways including:

  • Set up communication rules to decrease conflict
  • Help interpret confusing terms in the Order/Agreement
  • Assist by enforcing terms in the Order/Agreement which are being breached
  • Help parents make difficult decisions when they can’t agree
  • Educate parents to co-parent without conflict

Are Parenting Coordination decisions binding and enforceable?

Yes, the arbitrated decisions are binding and enforceable.

What are the benefits of Parenting Coordination as compared to proceeding to Court?

Parenting coordinators are often able to offer immediate attention to problems that arise.

Parenting coordination is designed to be convenient and time efficient. Typically, communication is by way of email or telephone calls. The arbitration process is often tailored to be significantly less formal than court.

Most parenting coordinators have specialized training in mediation, arbitration, parenting coordination and child psychology.

Parenting coordinators can obtain information from 3rd parties such as teachers, family and counsellors.

The parenting coordinator becomes familiar with the family and their particular challenges and history. This results in better-tailored solutions.

It is less costly to share the cost of a parenting coordinator versus the cost of 2 lawyers and court fees.

How long is the term of the Parenting Coordinator?

A two-year term is recommended to give the parenting coordinator an opportunity to understand the family and the issues.

Do I need a lawyer in addition to a Parenting Coordinator?

No, it is generally not necessary.

Are the children involved in Parenting Coordination?

With consent, the parenting coordinator will have the option to speak to the children if necessary. Although, involving the children should be done with great caution. As another option, a parenting coordinator may consult with the children’s counsellor.

Written by Wanda Dawson
Lawyer, Mediator, Arbitrator and Parenting Coordinator

Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP
#910, 550 – 6th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 0S2


  Posted: Mon Feb 22nd 2021 11:00am  2 months ago

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