Following custody proceedings or on the advice of counsel, parents are sometimes asked to seek parenting coordination or counseling services. Parents can also request such interventions independently.
Parenting coordination can give parents the opportunity to look at options with a neutral third party to facilitate communication that can lead to decisions. Ultimately the goal is to minimize the conflict that arises when children have to share their time between parents living in two homes. Sometimes it can also help parents learn to resolve other conflicts that they have been unable to solve on their own—agreements on such issues as holidays, summer vacations, and so on. Various models are available for review and with professional guidance, parents can ultimately determine what model best meets the needs of their children and those of their family.
The first job of the parental coordinator is to review the history of the parental conflict and the current conflicts between the parents. Following that review, there may be a meeting with each parent individually, and then joint meetings with the parents.
After the parenting coordinator has had the opportunity to get to know the parents and assess their history, the actual issue causing the current conflicts can be addressed. The long-term goal is to minimize the children’s exposure to conflict and to create a better working relationship between the parents.
Sometimes either co-parenting counseling or individual counseling may be part or exclusive of the intervention. Co-parenting counseling can teach both parents how to re-structure their working relationship beyond their divorce to a business relationship that focuses on raising happy well-adjusted children.