Walking alongside parents and caregivers to find a plan that keeps the child’s best interest in mind
Assisting with Co-Parenting Situations
A Parenting Coordinator (PC) provides guidance and support to parents to ensure the best interests of the children are met and both parents are able to communicate and co-parent in a healthy manner.
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Improve Co-Parenting with a Parenting Coordinator
Utilizing a Parenting Coordinator can greatly benefit co-parents by improving communication and reducing conflict. With the help of a skilled professional, you can navigate challenging situations more effectively and create a healthier environment for your children.
Find answers to frequently asked questions about parenting coordinator matters.
A Parenting Coordinator (PC) is someone who helps parties in high conflict custody cases resolve conflicts and may decide certain issues between the parties pending court review. The Parenting Coordinator is someone who holds a masters or doctorate degree in psychology, law, social work or counseling; has at least five years of related professional post-degree experience; holds an NC license in the parenting coordinator’s field of expertise; and has participated in the required training. Attorney Janelle Brienzi at Pennington Brienzi Law is a Parenting Coordinator and offers this service for those who have a court order appointing a PC.
The Court may appoint a parenting coordinator on their own initiative; the parties can consent to have a Parenting Coordinator appointed; or one party can file a motion to ask the court to order an appointment if the other party does not consent. The court must find that the appointment would be in the best interest of the child and that the parties have the ability to pay for the PC’s services.
Once the Parenting Coordinator is appointed, an order is entered that lists the areas of conflict that the PC is able to make decisions for the parties if there is a conflict. The PC can make small decisions related to the parties but cannot substantially change a court order. This is helpful for very high conflict parents who are in and out of court on a regular basis and gives them a third party to help them communicate and guide them through the co-parenting process.
The PC’s decisions are legally binding in the same way the court order is binding. The parties have the ability to bring the PC’s decisions before the Judge for a review, but the decisions (also known as directives) are valid and enforceable in the same way the court order is.
The appointment can last usually from 1-2 years, and can be renewed upon consent of the parties or by court order. The PC appointment can also be modified or terminated by court order in some circumstances.
The PC is most effective in high conflict cases. In most cases, the parties split the costs of the PC equally, although the court could order one party to pay more than the other, or the PC is able to redistribute the fee split if one of the parties is abusing the PC’s process. The PC is generally appointed and works well for cases in which there is excessive litigation; abuse between the parties; difficulty communicating; and/or significant anger and mistrust between the parties.
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