Parenting Coordination and Parenting Facilitation

We accept a limited number of parenting facilitation cases. Please have your attorney contact us prior to naming us in an order to insure that we are available.

Parenting Coordination - Overview

"Parenting Coordination is a child-focused alternative dispute resolution process in which a trained mental health or legal professional with mediation training and expertise assists high conflict parents to implement their parenting plan by facilitating the resolution of their disputes in a timely manner, educating parents about children's needs..."

From Guidelines for Parenting Coordination of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (2005).

For parents who continue to experience anger, distrust, or other difficulties in communicating about and cooperating in the care of their children a Parenting Coordinator or Parenting Facilitator may help minimize the children's exposure to harmful parental conflict. Research has indicated that post-divorce parental conflict is the strongest predictor of maladjustment of children. Parental conflict impairs the parent-child relationship and models poor adult coping mechanisms for children. Certainly no loving parent wants these kind of negative outcomes for their children, however many parents become "stuck" repeating the conflict and dysfunction that led to the end of their romantic relationship. This hybrid role combines training from social sciences, child development, mediation, parent education, family law, family systems, and many other fields to address and resolve parental conflict.

Whether acting as a Parenting Coordinator or Parenting Facilitator, the goal of the process is to help parents build a healthy, business-like relationship with each other so that their children are no longer subject to the negative effects of parental conflict. The specific needs of the children in question are discussed, rather than generic child development theory. In order to facilitate this process and understand what is happening with the children the Parenting Coordinator or Parenting Facilitator may meet with parents (both jointly and individually), meet with the children (with or without the parents), make home visits, review reports and written information, and consult with others involved with the family.

Parenting Facilitation

Unlike most other jurisdictions, Texas has implemented Parenting Coordination as a confidential process similar to mediation. Parenting Coordinators may not be called to testify in court, and can only report to the court whether the process is continuing or not. Parenting Facilitation reflects the broader national use of mental health professionals in a hybrid role also known as "Special Masters" or "Case Managers" (as well as "Parenting Coordinators") in some jurisdictions. Parenting Facilitation is useful for cases where parents may need more directive assistance in disengaging from their disputes with one another and refocusing on addressing the needs of the children in question. Parenting Facilitators bring an additional monitoring and reporting role to the process, and can help inform the court, the parents, and their attorneys as to what appears to be in the children's best interests as well as how each parent is contributing to meeting those interests.