Who Are The Parenting Coordinators?

Parenting Coordinators are licensed mental health professionals or attorneys who are also specially trained in parenting coordination. In addition, Parenting Coordinators are knowledgeable about conflict resolution, child development, psychology of divorcing families, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, interdisciplinary collaboration, and New York Domestic Relations law. Parenting Coordinators are especially trained to screen for domestic violence.  The founding members of PCANY were all selected for training and participation in the first pilot parenting coordination program in New York State.  We expect to welcome new PCANY members in the future.


How Do Parenting Coordinators Help Families?  

Parenting Coordinators attempt to teach people how to function independently of the Court to resolve conflicts.  Parenting Coordinators work with families to educate parents about parenting, to assist parents to resolve parenting conflicts themselves, and if parents are still unable to agree, to make parenting decisions for them.  The Parenting Coordinator will only help make those parenting decisions that both the court and the parents agree parents want help with.


What Are Some Examples of Parenting Coordination Issues? 

Parenting Coordinators may help parents with such parenting issues as scheduling, communicating, coordinating parenting efforts and making parenting decisions outlined in their court-ordered parenting plan.


What Types Of Decisions Are Parenting Coordinators Not Able To Make?

Parenting Coordinators may not make determinations such as custody determinations, relocation orders, child support, religion, and modifications that substantially alter existing access.


What Is The Best Way To Obtain a Parenting Coordinator?

Judges or their attorneys will offer appropriate families the choice to be assigned a Parenting Coordinator.  If they agree, the parties will sign a stipulation, and the judge will issue a court order that defines the purpose and limits of authority for the Parenting Coordinator assigned to that family. Alternatively, judges may order parties for parenting coordination.  The Parenting Coordinator’s authority emanates from the court order.  Parents retain their due process rights, and may appeal a Parenting Coordinator’s decision within the designated time.  A case may be assigned pre or post judgment.


Good practice dictates that all families that are referred for parenting coordination should be screened by the Parenting Coordinator for appropriateness and domestic violence.