3. Get help from a parenting coordinator

How do I change custody, access, and parenting arrangements in my agreement?
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3. Get help from a parenting coordinator

Another alternative dispute resolution process is parenting coordination.

A parenting coordinator is a neutral person who helps parents resolve day-to-day conflicts about their parenting arrangements or parenting orders. They have special training on:

  • how to deal with high conflict parents
  • how to understand the needs of children
  • how to help each partner communicate on parenting issues

Parenting coordinators usually get involved when there is a parenting plan, or separation agreement, or court order that is not being followed. They can help you and your partner follow your agreement or court order instead of going back to court.

Parenting coordinators can meet with you and your partner, your children, and anyone else they think can help the family. They can help you and your partner:

  • develop problem-solving and communication skills
  • follow  parenting plans in your agreement or court order
  • resolve conflicts that come up about the parenting plan

For example, if your agreement or court order says that you will divide your time with the children equally over the summer, a parenting coordinator can help you figure out a summer schedule.

If you and your partner reach an agreement, the parenting coordinator will often write up a document saying what was agreed on. This is sometimes an informal email or can be a more formal document called "minutes of settlement" or a "memorandum of understanding".

Before you start, you and your partner can decide whether you want the parenting coordinator to have the ability to make a final decision if you both can’t agree. Their decision is based on information they get from you and your partner, professionals such as doctors, teachers, counsellors, etc., and, if needed, your child.

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Ministry of the Attorney General
Reviewed: July 15, 2019

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