A parenting co-ordinator helps parents carry out their parenting agreement or order. A parenting co-ordinator does not create or change parenting arrangements. They help parents resolve disagreements about how parenting agreements or orders are put into effect.
For example, if your agreement or order about parenting time says you pick the child up on Tuesdays and Thursdays but you and the other parent disagree about the pick-up time, a parenting co-ordinator can help solve the disagreement. This keeps you and the other parent from having to go back to court over small issues.
A parenting co-ordinator will try to help you and the other parent solve the disagreements about your parenting arrangements.
If you cannot agree, then a parenting co-ordinator can make the decision for you both (this is called a “determination”). In this case, the parenting co-ordinator’s determination is binding and you both must follow it.
A parenting co-ordinator cannot make any determination that fundamentally changes your agreement or order. This is because the parenting co-ordinator’s role is to help you carry out, not change, existing agreements or orders.
You can agree to get a parenting co-ordinator yourselves, or a judge can order you to see a parenting co-ordinator if they feel you need one.
Starting Jan. 1, 2014 parenting co-ordinators must meet Family Law Act minimum training and practice standards. They must have at least 10 years experience in a family-related field and take specified training in parenting co-ordination, mediation, family law, decision-making, skills development, and family violence. Some parenting co-ordinators belong to organizations which already have similar standards. Before hiring a parenting co-ordinator, it is a good idea to ask about their qualifications.
Finding a parenting co-ordinator
- Contact the BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society for a list of parenting coordinators who meet their qualifications and standards
- The Canadian Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service may be able to refer you to a lawyer who is a parenting co-ordinator