Separate well with parenting coordination

Co-parenting after separation or divorce isn't always easy. If you are in constant conflict, support from a parenting coordinator can help break the cycle and build a new co-parenting relationship.

Specially trained parenting coordinators help co-parents to work together, resolve disputes and improve communication. Importantly, they help encourage co-parents to approach things in a child-centred way. 

Our lawyers

If you have a child arrangements order or a parenting plan and need help implementing it, a parenting coordinator can:

  • Work with both of you to understand the scope of the order or plan
  • Help you to manage your day-to-day co-parenting together
  • Support you both to develop a co-parenting relationship that provides the foundations for the best outcome for your children
  • Help you to resolve disagreements and successfully negotiate parenting challenges

What you need to know

Research shows that, when parents are in conflict, their children will feel the impact. And whilst some conflict is to be expected when parents separate, frequent, intense and poorly resolved conflict can have a negative impact affecting a child’s mental health, education, friendships and relationships.

Parenting coordinators typically work with parents who have a history of conflict – perhaps with repeated applications to the court – and who are struggling to follow the terms of the court order or parenting plan but want to change that. The coordinator does not alter the order or plan, but works with the parents to implement it. They also help parents to understand how their children are being affected by the conflict and how to put their children back at the centre of their decision making.

Parenting coordinators are trained mediators and use their mediation skills to help resolve disagreements and encourage parents to communicate with each other.

Some of the things that parenting coordinators deal with are:

  • Arrangements about a child’s day-to-day care
  • Difficulties during handovers
  • Clarifying parts of the court order or parenting plan
  • Dealing with temporary changes to the usual arrangements for the child
  • Dealing with non-compliance
  • Considering why parents are having difficulties communicating with each other and coming up with strategies to improve this

Frequently Asked Questions


Vlogs from our family lawyers

This vlog is a discussion about parenting coordination between Caitlin Jenkins and Claire Molyneux, her Mills & Reeve colleague who is a solicitor, mediator and parenting coordinator. They explore the origins of parenting coordination, when it can be used by separated couples to assist with the implementation of an agreement or order about the arrangements for their children, what the process is and whether it works.
In this vlog, Caitlin Jenkins introduces fellow Mills & Reeve colleague, Claire Molyneux, a specialist expert in family and children law. They discuss the sort of work that Claire does with families who are in high conflict, in particular as a mediator and as a parenting coordinator.

Principal Associate Claudia Gilham leads this virtual discussion, recorded on 13 September 2021. Claudia is joined by Michele Friele of No5 Chambers, and Kam Kaur and Claire Field of Parenting Apart Programme to discuss the important issues to consider when dealing with parental conflict and supporting child development. 

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