The Goal

For some parents who have split up, the job of raising children together becomes extremely challenging.  For a variety of reasons, these parents find themselves fighting more than collaborating toward their children's best interest.  Often, they end up using the court system in an attempt to right their course and that often leads them down the path of increased hostility and decreased trust.

Parenting coordinators provide a supportive structure for moving beyond the patterns of conflict. While parenting coordinators are frequently recommended by judges, parents often voluntarily choose to work with a PC because they recognize the strain their co-parenting dynamic has on their children.  Having an impartial third-party involved in parenting decisions can bring a pillar of stability to a tumultuous situation.

 

The Process

Utilizing appreciative inquiry, collaborative decision-making strategies of mediation, education, and case management, I encourage the best qualities of the co-parenting team to emerge while ensuring that they’re fulfilling their obligations to their child and complying with the Court recommendations.  

Education regarding effective co-parenting skills

Both parents participate in a structured educational program focusing on enhancing communication and collaboration skills, learning to focus on the children's needs and increasing understanding of conflict dynamics.

Facilitated communication in which decisions are made jointly 

Parents meet regularly face to face to make decisions on behalf of their children in a safe, structured environment.  The parenting coordinator facilitates the discussion so that it is effective.  This provides an opportunity to practice skills learned in the educational component.

Oversight of parenting behaviors used for coaching and communicating with attorneys

As the PC learns more about the situation, she may provide individual coaching to parents to learn best co-parenting practices.  The PC's ability to communicate with the attorneys about their client's progress encourages compliance.

OCCASIONAL Tie-breaking

With prior approval of the parties, the PC has the authority to make limited decisions within the scope of the court order, to assist high-conflict parents who have demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to make parenting decisions on their own.


I appreciate Sara’s way of viewing both sides and trying to make it as fair as possible for both of us considering the situation.
Sara is very professional and talented at creating the right environment for mediation (good at reducing tension and setting the pace for results).
In eight years of parent mediation, Sara is by far the most successful experience. Her presence alone has been reassuring, safe, calm and caring. She seems to embody her work. I always felt seen and heard, and that my relationship to my children’s father really grew through our sessions with Sara, that we had more shared goals, vision and compassion for each other after our mediation.

What is Parent Coordination?