Are You a Co-Parent? Here’s Why You Need to Know About Parenting Coordinators

Parenting coordination is a specialized field within family law designed to facilitate communication and cooperation between divorced or separated parents. It’s a collaborative approach that helps parents navigate the challenges of co-parenting, with the primary goal of ensuring the well-being of their children. This comprehensive guide will delve into parenting coordination, exploring its definition, benefits, and practical applications. 

What is Parenting Coordination?

Parenting coordination is a professional service designed to assist separated or divorced parents in resolving disputes related to their children. It aims to create a structured and efficient framework for co-parenting, ensuring the well-being of the children involved. A parenting coordinator, often a trained mental health or legal professional, serves as a neutral third party to facilitate communication, minimize conflict, and help parents make informed decisions in the best interest of their children. 

The Role of a Parenting Coordinator

A parenting coordinator wears many hats throughout the co-parenting journey. Their primary responsibilities include: 

Mediation and Conflict Resolution 

Parenting Coordinators act as skilled mediators, specializing in resolving conflicts between parents. They facilitate constructive dialogues when disputes arise, which is common in co-parenting situations. Through their expertise, they guide parents toward finding mutually agreeable solutions. This mediation process helps diffuse tensions, reduce hostilities, and ultimately foster an environment of cooperation. 

Creating Parenting Plans 

One of the core functions of a Parenting Coordinator is to assist parents in creating comprehensive parenting plans. These plans serve as the roadmap for co-parenting and cover critical aspects such as custody arrangements, visitation schedules, and decision-making processes by working closely with both parties. Parenting Coordinators help design plans that are fair, clear, and in the best interests of the children involved. 

Monitoring and Compliance 

To ensure the stability of the co-parenting arrangement, Parenting Coordinators take on the role of vigilant monitors. They oversee the adherence of both parents to the agreed-upon parenting plan. This involves regular checks to confirm that each parent follows the plan’s terms, including visitation schedules and custody arrangements. If any deviations occur, Parenting Coordinators address them promptly and appropriately. 

Educating Parents 

Effective co-parenting often requires parents to acquire new skills and insights. Parenting Coordinators recognize this need and take on an educational role. They provide valuable information and resources to parents, aiding them in enhancing their parenting skills. This education extends beyond basic childcare to understand their children’s emotional and developmental needs. By equipping parents with knowledge and tools, Parenting Coordinators empower them to make informed decisions that positively impact their children. 

Child Advocacy 

Above all else, the central focus of a Parenting Coordinator is the well-being of the children involved. They act as staunch advocates for the children, prioritizing their best interests in every decision and recommendation. This unwavering commitment ensures that the children’s voices are heard, and their needs are met throughout the co-parenting process. Parenting Coordinators shield against actions or decisions that might adversely affect the children, championing their emotional and physical welfare. 

Benefits of Parenting Coordination 

Parenting coordination offers numerous benefits to separated or divorced parents and, most importantly, their children. Some of these advantages include: 

Reduced Conflict 

One of the most pronounced benefits of parenting coordination is reduced conflict between co-parents. As trained mediators, parenting coordinators specialize in facilitating effective communication. They help parents navigate potentially contentious issues with a focus on collaboration and compromise. They defuse tensions as neutral third parties, leading to more amicable interactions. For instance, if there’s a disagreement regarding the child’s extracurricular activities, a parenting coordinator can guide the discussion and help both parents arrive at a mutually agreeable solution that minimizes conflict. 

Clear Guidelines 

Parenting coordinators play a pivotal role in establishing structured parenting plans. These plans are essential documents that outline custody arrangements, visitation schedules, and other critical aspects of co-parenting. By providing clear guidelines, parenting coordinators ensure that both parents fully comprehend their roles, responsibilities, and obligations. This clarity helps reduce confusion and ambiguity, creating a stable foundation for co-parenting. For example, a parenting plan can specify how holidays and vacations are shared, leaving no room for disputes or misunderstandings. 

Faster Conflict Resolution 

Inevitably, conflicts may arise in co-parenting situations. However, with the assistance of a parenting coordinator, these disputes can be resolved more swiftly and efficiently. The coordinator’s mediation skills and expertise in child-related matters enable them to address conflicts promptly. This prevents prolonged disagreements that can negatively impact both parents and, most significantly, the children. For instance, if co-parents disagree on educational choices, a parenting coordinator can facilitate discussions and find a resolution that aligns with the child’s best interests, saving time and emotional stress. 

Child-Centered Decisions 

The most critical benefit of parenting coordination is the unwavering commitment to making decisions that prioritize the well-being of the children involved. Parenting coordinators are staunch advocates for children. They ensure custody, education, or healthcare decisions are rooted in the child’s best interests. For instance, in cases where parents have differing opinions on medical treatment for a child, a parenting coordinator will diligently research and weigh the options, always keeping the child’s health and safety at the forefront of the decision-making process. 

Improved Parenting Skills 

Parenting is a continuous learning journey, and parenting coordinators recognize this reality. They take on an educational role, offering valuable guidance and resources to parents. By enhancing parenting skills, parents can better understand and meet the evolving needs of their children. This improvement in parenting skills extends beyond everyday care, including emotional support, communication techniques, and conflict-resolution strategies. For example, a parenting coordinator may provide resources on effective co-parenting communication or suggest workshops to help parents develop healthy coping mechanisms for their children’s sake. 


Parenting coordinators help maintain consistency in parenting arrangements. Consistency is essential for children’s stability and emotional well-being. Coordinators promote a sense of security in children’s lives by ensuring that parenting plans and visitation schedules are consistent. For example, suppose a child’s weekly visitation schedule is disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances. In that case, a parenting coordinator can work with both parents to find a solution that minimizes disruptions to the child’s routine, promoting stability. 

Is Parenting Coordination Right for You?

If you’re uncertain whether parenting coordination is suitable for your situation, consider these scenarios where it can prove highly beneficial: 

High Conflict Situations 

Parenting coordination can be a lifeline if disagreements between you and your co-parent frequently escalate into heated arguments or legal disputes. A parenting coordinator can provide a structured and neutral platform to navigate these conflicts, helping both parties find common ground and reduce hostilities. 

Complex Parenting Arrangements 

In cases where custody arrangements, visitation schedules, or decision-making responsibilities are intricate and multifaceted, a parenting coordinator’s expertise can simplify the process. They can assist in crafting comprehensive parenting plans that address the complexities, ensuring that all parties clearly understand their roles and responsibilities. 

Communication Challenges 

If you and your co-parent struggle to communicate effectively, especially when discussing matters related to your children, a neutral third party, like a parenting coordinator, can intervene. Their role as a facilitator can help improve the quality of communication, making it more productive and less contentious. 

Frequent Modifications 

If you often adjust your parenting plans due to changing circumstances, a parenting coordinator can help streamline this process. They can ensure that modifications are made thoughtfully and documented correctly and that everyone involved remains informed and in agreement. 

Child’s Well-Being 

Parenting coordination becomes invaluable when issues directly impact your child’s well-being, such as disagreements over medical treatment, educational choices, or emotional support. It ensures that decisions are consistently made with the child’s best interests as the top priority. 

In conclusion, co-parenting provides a structured and effective approach to resolving disputes, improving communication, and ultimately ensuring the well-being of your children. If you find yourself in a situation where co-parenting is challenging, consider exploring the benefits of parenting coordination. It could be the key to a more harmonious and child-centered co-parenting journey. Remember, the goal is to create a nurturing environment where your children can thrive, regardless of the challenges that come your way. 

PDS Australia empowers families to build strong relationships with their children, create a safe environment for their children’s development, and ensure the best possible outcomes for their children.