Consultant, Claire Molyneux, was one of the first family lawyers to train as a parenting coordinator in England and Wales. If you have a child arrangements order or a parenting plan and need help implementing it, she 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