A Parenting Coordinator is a neutral person to whom parents can turn when in dispute on matters relating to the children. Parents may access the service of a Parenting Coordinator in a timelier fashion and costs are almost always less than going to Court, but this is not a guarantee.
The role of the Parenting Coordinator is to help parents to come to a successful resolution between themselves. However, the Parenting Coordinator is also empowered by the parents, their Parenting Plan Agreement or by Court Order, to make recommendations binding on the parents in the event the parents are unable to agree on solutions. In other words, the decision of the Parenting Coordinator must be followed by the parents, as if ordered by a Court.
A Parenting Coordinator is a neutral person to whom parents can turn when in dispute on matters relating to the children.
It is important for parents to remember that Parenting Coordination is a process that takes place after a parenting plan has been created. This is done either through Court Order, arbitration or by a consent between the parents in a process such as mediation.
Regarding costs associated with the Parenting Coordinator service specifically, parents typically divide these costs equally unless there is a prior agreement to do otherwise or unless there is an Order of the Court specifying how costs are to be distributed between the parties. The matter of distribution of costs must be determined by the parents, lawyers or Courts, prior to referral.
As of April 30, 2008, there are new rules governing the provision of the Parenting Coordination service in the Province of Ontario. Those new rules require the parties to obtain independent legal advice prior to service and, also require the Parenting Coordinator to screen the parties for domestic violence and power imbalances prior to service. These matters will be discussed at the time of referral. Furthermore, the new rules require the Parenting Coordinator to have been trained in screening procedures for domestic violence and power imbalances as well as having received training in family law.