Difference between revisions of "Parenting Coordination"

From Clicklaw Wikibooks
Jump to navigation Jump to search
m
 
(45 intermediate revisions by 6 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
{{JP Boyd on Family Law TOC|expanded = outofcourt}}
+
{{JP Boyd on Family Law TOC|expanded = outofcourt}}{{JPBOFL Editor Badge
 +
|ChapterEditors = [[Morag MacLeod|Morag MacLeod QC]], and [[Catherine Brink]]
 +
}}
  
Parenting coordination is a child-focused dispute resolution process for separated families. Parenting coordination deals with parenting disputes arising after an agreement or order about parental responsibilities, parenting time or contact has been made. Parenting coordinators are experienced family law lawyers, mediators and arbitrators, counsellors, social workers and psychologists.
+
Parenting coordination is a child-focused dispute resolution process for separated families that deals with parenting disputes arising after an agreement or order has been made about parental responsibilities, parenting time, or contact. ''Parenting coordinators'' are experienced family law lawyers, mental health professionals (counsellors, social workers, family therapists, and psychologists), mediators, and arbitrators.
  
 
This section provides a provides a <span class="noglossary">brief</span> introduction to parenting coordination, an overview of the process, and links to some additional resources on parenting coordination.
 
This section provides a provides a <span class="noglossary">brief</span> introduction to parenting coordination, an overview of the process, and links to some additional resources on parenting coordination.
  
 
==Introduction==
 
==Introduction==
 +
Parents who have a separation agreement or court order that establishes a parenting plan but are still fighting over the details may seek the assistance of a parenting coordinator to help resolve their disputes instead of repeatedly getting the courts involved. A parenting coordinator may be appointed by agreement or by order of the court. As with all family dispute resolution professionals, the parenting coordinator will meet with the parties separately prior to starting the process to screen for the presence of family violence.
  
Parenting coordination uses aspects of mediation and arbitration to resolve disputes about parenting issues, once the parties have reached a final order or agreement dealing with parenting arrangements and contact. Parenting coordination is only useful for parents who seem to always find themselves arguing about parenting issues despite their order or agreement; parenting coordination is not for people who don't argue about parenting issues or who are able to resolve their disagreements without intervention.
+
===What a parenting coordinator is===
 +
A parenting coordinator has specialized training in family law,  mediation, arbitration, communications skills development, high conflict family dynamics, and child development. Parenting coordinators are governed by the ''[[Family Law Act]]'', and the [http://canlii.ca/t/8rdx Family Law Act Regulation]. In British Columbia, the [http://www.bcparentingcoordinators.com/ BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society] administers a roster of parenting coordinators who have met additional standards of training and experience and who abide by established practice guidelines.
  
Parenting coordinators are family law lawyers, mediators and arbitrators, counsellors, social workers and psychologists with special training in mediation, arbitration, parenting coordination, family violence, communication skills development, and high-conflict family dynamics, as required by the [http://canlii.ca/t/8rdx Family Law Act Regulation]. Parenting coordinators are hired on a long term-basis, for renewable terms of between six months to two years.
+
===What a parenting coordinator does===
 +
Regardless of how detailed a parenting plan or order may be, some parents repeatedly find things to argue about. This kind of parental behaviour has a particularly negative impact on children. A parenting coordinator can be useful in minimizing that conflict by coaching parents on how to:
 +
#manage conflict,
 +
#make better parenting decisions,
 +
#compromise positions in the best interests of their children.
 +
If that doesn't work, the parenting coordinator will mediate or, as a last resort, arbitrate the dispute between the parents. The long term goal of the parenting coordinator is to improve the parents' ability to communicate, problem solve, and make parenting decisions in a healthy and supportive way, without the need for third party interventions like a parenting coordinator or frequent applications to court. That goal may not be attainable for some parents.  
  
Once a parenting coordinator has been retained, either parent may ask the parenting coordinator to resolve a dispute. The parent with the concern will contact the parenting coordinator and explain the problem and his or her preferred solution. The parenting coordinator will discuss the problem with the other parent to get his or her perspective on the issue and will then work with both parents to find a resolution everyone can agree to. If, however, the parents can't reach agreement or if the issue is very urgent, the parenting coordinator may arbitrate the dispute and impose a resolution. This process repeats whenever a new issue arises that needs to be resolved.
+
Some examples of what a parenting coordinator may do are:
 +
*settling disputes or ambiguities about parenting schedules, extra-curricular activities, travel arrangements, holidays, and special events,
 +
*resolving issues about how child expenses will be paid,
 +
*deciding what school a child will attend,
 +
*determining if a child needs tutoring, therapy, or routine medical treatment, and
 +
*working out a protocol for a child’s belongings, inter-parent communications, parent-child communications, and attendance at a child's events.
  
Parenting coordinators and the parenting coordination process are governed by the ''[[Family Law Act]]'', the [http://canlii.ca/t/8rdx Family Law Act Regulation] and the codes of conduct and practice standards established by any practice group a parenting coordinator may belong to, such as the [http://www.bcparentingcoordinators.com/ BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society].
+
===What a parenting coordinator doesn't do===
 +
A parenting coordinator does not:
 +
*make original parenting plans or parenting orders,
 +
*make decisions changing custody or guardianship agreements or orders,
 +
*deal with property division, spousal support, or child support (with the possible exception of special expenses),
 +
*deal with relocation.
  
===What parenting coordination deals with===
+
===How the parenting coordinator works===
 +
A parenting coordinator is appointed by agreement or court order. The appointing agreement or order should specify who is being appointed and a deadline for signing the [https://perma.cc/544Y-KP9Y parenting coordination agreement] and making payment of the required deposits and retainers. A list of parenting coordinators is available at the website of the [http://www.bcparentingcoordinators.com/member-roster/ BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society].
 +
Some parenting coordinators invite parents to a short meeting to discuss the parenting coordinator's role prior to the formal appointment. This meeting might have a fixed cost or no cost.
 +
Once parents agree, or are ordered, to appoint a parenting coordinator, they will enter a [https://perma.cc/544Y-KP9Y parenting coordination agreement] for which they should have independent legal advice. The parenting coordination agreement sets out  in detail  what the parenting coordinator will do, how it will be done, the cost, and how the costs are to be paid. The agreement also provides for the term of the appointment. Section 15(4) of the ''[[Family Law Act]]'' says that the maximum term is for 24 months, which is also the recommended term for most appointments. 12 month appointments are fairly common, however. Shorter appointments (6 months) have been made in specific circumstances, but the process of parenting coordination generally requires longer term engagement with the family for the best outcomes. Parenting coordinator contracts may be renewed for successive terms if the parenting coordinator and the parents agree.
  
Parenting coordination addresses how final orders and agreements about parental responsibilities, parenting time and contact are interpreted and implemented. Although parenting coordinators also have the authority to make <span class="noglossary">minor</span>, usually temporary, changes to those orders and agreements, parenting coordinators do not have the ability to make changes about important issues like guardianship or the allocation of parental responsibilities.  
+
Most parenting coordinators require a deposit and retainer, the price of which typically depends on the length of the appointment, the urgency of any specific issue, the number of issues, and the level of conflict between the parents. Retainers commonly start at $5,000, plus deposits which are set by the specific parenting coordinator appointed. Each parent must each pay their share of the retainers and deposits. As with a lawyer's retainer, the parenting coordinator's retainer and deposit are security for their accounts. When bills are issued, they are paid from the retainer. Deposits are generally held until the end of the appointment and applied to the last account. Any balance remaining is returned to the parent who provided the funds.
  
Parenting coordinators can also deal with <span class="noglossary">minor</span>, often temporary, issues that aren't covered by an order or agreement, like:
+
Parenting coordinators charge by the hour for all time spent working with the family, so the service can be costly, especially if over-used. However, when compared with the cost of numerous applications to court, the process can be quite cost effective, especially with high conflict families. That said, the services of a parenting coordinator may be more expensive than some families can afford.
  
*the arrangements for a special event,
+
Depending on the circumstances and the age of the children, the parents may also be asked to sign a number of consent forms giving the children's doctors, care providers, teachers, therapists, and any other relevant people, permission to discuss the family with the parenting coordinator. After the parenting coordination agreement has been signed and the deposits and retainer paid, the parenting coordinators will meet with the parties, usually in person.  Until the presence of family violence has been screened for and an assessment of the level of conflict has been made, most parenting coordinators will meet with the parties separately. The parenting coordinator may also meet with the children and relevant third parties, such as teachers, therapists, or doctors who may be helpful. The parenting coordinator will attempt to coach, mediate, and as a last resort, arbitrate, the resolution of the parenting issues raised. As other issues develop, the same process applies. Some issues may be resolved relatively quickly by phone or email, while other issues will require in person meetings. Either or both parents may bring an issue to the parenting coordinator for resolution, although there is an obligation on parents to make reasonable efforts to resolve disputes directly before engaging the parenting coordinator. For issues within the parenting coordination mandate, decisions of the parenting coordinator are enforceable by the court. Parents who fail to meet their obligations under the parenting coordination Agreement or fail to attend meetings arranged by the parenting coordinator may be penalized in costs, and their lack of cooperation may be reported by the parenting coordinator to the court.
*where a child will go to school,
 
*the child's need for counselling, therapy, or tutoring, and
 
*the child's participation in sports and other extracurricular activities.
 
 
 
Parenting coordination also tries to address some of the problems that contribute to the parties' disagreements. This might include helping the parties to work on how they communicate with each other or how they manage conflict, or it might include helping the parties understand how their children experience their conflict.
 
 
 
===What parenting coordination might deal with===
 
 
 
Parenting coordination usually does not deal with child support or children's special expenses. However, if the parents and the parenting coordinator agree, the parenting coordinator may assist the parents with things like:
 
 
 
*reviews of child support, where the review is required by an order or agreement,
 
*deciding which expenses qualify as a special expenses, and
 
*determining the amount of each parent's contribution to the children's special expenses.
 
 
 
Many parenting coordinators won't address these issues. The parenting coordinators most likely to agree to address issues like these are those parenting coordinators who are also family law lawyers.
 
 
 
===What parenting coordination won't deal with===
 
 
 
Parenting coordinators cannot assist with any subjects that are expressly excluded by an order or a parenting coordination agreement.
 
 
 
As well, parenting coordinators cannot deal with:
 
 
 
*the division or possession of property or the division of debt,
 
*changes to the guardianship of a child,
 
*changes to the allocation of parental responsibilities,
 
*giving parenting time or contact to a person who does not have parenting time or contact,
 
*substantial changes to parenting time or contact, and
 
*the relocation of a child.
 
 
 
Parenting coordinators should not help with a person's entitlement to receive spousal support, problems with the payment of spousal support, or changing an order or agreement about spousal support.
 
 
 
==The parenting coordination process==
 
 
 
Parenting coordinators are hired by the agreement of the parties or a court order. Orders for the appointment of a parenting coordinator can be made with or without the agreement of the parties. An agreement or order appointing a parenting coordinator should specify who is being appointed; a list a of parenting coordinators is available at the website of [http://www.bcparentingcoordinators.com/member-roster/ BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society].
 
 
 
===Signing the parenting coordination agreement===
 
 
 
First, the parties and their parenting coordinator will sign a parenting coordination agreement that talks about the scope of the parenting coordinator's services and authority, how parenting problems will be addressed, and how the parties will manage the parenting coordinator's fees. (In general, the parenting coordinator's fees will be split equally between the parties, unless they agree otherwise or unless the parenting coordinator has a good reason to assign responsibility for a certain amount of fees to a particular person.)
 
 
 
It is always helpful if the key terms of the parenting coordination agreement are set out in the order or agreement appointing the parenting coordinator, including:
 
 
 
*the scope of the issues the parenting coordinator may address, and any specific issues the parenting coordinator must address,
 
*a description of the dispute resolution process, including the parenting coordinator's capacity to arbitrate a dispute in the event consensus cannot be reached,
 
*confirming that the parenting coordination process is not confidential,
 
*the length of the parenting coordinator's retainer, and
 
*the circumstances in which the parenting coordinator can withdraw or be terminated from a case.
 
 
 
Many parenting coordinators use the signing of their parenting coordination agreements as an opportunity to have the parties execute releases and authorizations allowing the parenting coordinator to speak to people like the children's doctors, counsellors, and teachers. Under [http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/laws/stat/sbc-2011-c-25/latest/part-3/sbc-2011-c-25-part-3.html#section16 s. 16] of the ''[[Family Law Act]]'',
 
 
 
<blockquote><tt>A party must, for the purposes of facilitating parenting coordination, provide the parenting coordinator with</tt></blockquote>
 
<blockquote><blockquote><tt>(a) information requested by the parenting coordinator, and</tt></blockquote></blockquote>
 
<blockquote><blockquote><tt>(b) authorization to request and receive information, respecting a child or a party, from a person who is not a party.</tt></blockquote></blockquote>
 
 
 
===The retainer and deposit===
 
 
 
The parents must each then pay their share of the parenting coordinator's retainer. As with a lawyer, the retainers paid to the parenting coordinator are security for the parenting coordinator's future bills. When such bills are issued, parenting coordinators will pay themselves by drawing on parties' retainers.
 
 
 
Some parenting coordinators will also ask for an additional retainer, called a deposit. This money is held in reserve to enable the parenting coordinator to finish dealing with a problem in the event that a party's retainer runs out in the middle of a dispute and the party refuses to replenish his or her retainer.
 
 
 
===The introductory meeting===
 
 
 
Next, the parenting coordinator will meet separately with each party to explain the parenting coordination process in more depth and take a detailed history of the parties' relationship and proceedings in court. Depending on the age of the children, the parenting coordinator may want to meet the children as well.
 
 
 
Once these introductory matters have been taken care of, either party can bring a parenting problem to the parenting coordinator when a problem arises. Parenting coordinators will often deal with dozens of these disputes during their retainer.
 
 
 
===Dealing with disputes===
 
 
 
Where there is a problem, the parenting coordinator will listen to the party raising the issue and then contact the other party to get his or her take on things. Depending on the nature of the parties and the nature of the problem, the parenting coordinator may:
 
 
 
*meet with the parties separately or together about the issue,
 
*interview the children to get their input on the issue,
 
*speak to the children's counsellors, doctors, teachers, instructors, or coaches, and
 
*speak to any other third party who may have helpful information about the issue.
 
 
 
====The consensus-building phase====
 
 
 
Except in cases of real urgency, the parenting coordinator will try to resolve the dispute by attempting to help the parties reach their own agreement on this issue, much in the manner of a mediator. This process can take time and requires lots of communication. As a result, when an issue is genuinely urgent, the consensus-building phases may be shortened or skipped altogether.
 
 
 
Most parenting coordinators will do everything possible to help the parties reach a settlement of a parenting dispute. Imposing a resolution on a dispute should be a last resort only.
 
 
 
====The determination-making phase====
 
 
 
When settlement is impossible, or if a problem is urgent and must be dealt with quickly, the parenting coordinator will make a <span class="noglossary">decision</span>, called a ''determination'', resolving the problem, much in the manner of an arbitrator. The parenting coordinator will warn the parents when it becomes necessary to make a determination, and, depending on the time available, will make sure that each party has provided all of the information and arguments they wish to provide and has had the opportunity to address the information and arguments provided by the other party.
 
 
 
The parenting coordinator's determination will be given to the parties in writing, even if the parenting coordinator first made his or her determination orally. This is a written statement of the determination and the reasons for that determination.
 
  
 
===Enforcing a determination===
 
===Enforcing a determination===
  
Parenting coordinators' determinations may be enforced by filing them in court, either under [http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/laws/regu/bc-reg-417-98/latest/part-2/bc-reg-417-98-part-2.html#rule12 Rule 12] of the [http://canlii.ca/t/85pb Provincial Court (Family) Rules] or [http://canlii.ca/en/bc/laws/regu/bc-reg-169-2009/latest/part-2/bc-reg-169-2009-part-2.html Rule 2-1.1 of the Supreme Court Family Rules].
+
Parenting coordinators' determinations may be enforced by filing them in court, either under Rule 12 of the [http://canlii.ca/t/85pb Provincial Court Family Rules] or Rule 2-1.1 of the [http://canlii.ca/t/8mcr Supreme Court Family Rules].
  
 
===Concluding the retainer===
 
===Concluding the retainer===
  
At the end of the parenting coordinator's term, all parties — the parents and the parenting coordinator — must agree to renew the parenting coordination agreement. If the agreement isn't renewed, the parenting coordination process is concluded.
+
At the end of the parenting coordinator's term, parents and the parenting coordinator may agree to renew the parenting coordination agreement. If the agreement isn't renewed by unanimous agreement, the parenting coordination process is concluded unless the court orders a renewal or further appointment.
  
Under s. 15(6) of the ''Family Law Act'', a parenting coordination agreement can be terminated before the end of a parenting coordinator's term in one of three circumstances:
+
Under section 15(6) of the ''[[Family Law Act]]'', a parenting coordination agreement can be terminated before the end of a parenting coordinator's term in one of three circumstances:
  
 
<blockquote><tt>(a) in the case of an agreement, by agreement of the parties or by an order made on application by either of the parties;</tt></blockquote>
 
<blockquote><tt>(a) in the case of an agreement, by agreement of the parties or by an order made on application by either of the parties;</tt></blockquote>
Line 129: Line 66:
 
* [http://canlii.ca/t/8rdx Family Law Act Regulation]
 
* [http://canlii.ca/t/8rdx Family Law Act Regulation]
 
* ''[http://canlii.ca/t/84gc Arbitration Act]''
 
* ''[http://canlii.ca/t/84gc Arbitration Act]''
* [http://canlii.ca/en/bc/laws/regu/bc-reg-169-2009/latest/bc-reg-169-2009.html Supreme Court Family Rules]
+
* [http://canlii.ca/t/8mcr Supreme Court Family Rules]
 
* [http://canlii.ca/t/85pb Provincial Court Family Rules]
 
* [http://canlii.ca/t/85pb Provincial Court Family Rules]
 +
 +
===Documents===
 +
 +
* [https://perma.cc/544Y-KP9Y BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society: Standard Parenting Coordination Agreement Template (April 2015)]
  
 
===Links===
 
===Links===
  
 
* [http://www.bcparentingcoordinators.com/ BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society]
 
* [http://www.bcparentingcoordinators.com/ BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society]
* [http://www.afccnet.org/ the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts]
+
* [http://www.afccnet.org/ Association of Family and Conciliation Courts]
 
* [http://www.afccnet.org/Portals/0/AFCCGuidelinesforParentingcoordinationnew.pdf AFCC's Guidelines for Parenting Coordination] (PDF)
 
* [http://www.afccnet.org/Portals/0/AFCCGuidelinesforParentingcoordinationnew.pdf AFCC's Guidelines for Parenting Coordination] (PDF)
  
Line 150: Line 91:
 
END HIDDEN--->
 
END HIDDEN--->
  
{{REVIEWED | reviewer = [[JP Boyd]], March 24, 2013}}
+
{{REVIEWED | reviewer = [[Morag MacLeod]], Feb 13, 2019}}
  
 
{{JP Boyd on Family Law Navbox|type=chapters}}
 
{{JP Boyd on Family Law Navbox|type=chapters}}
  
 
{{Creative Commons for JP Boyd}}
 
{{Creative Commons for JP Boyd}}
 +
 +
[[Category:JP Boyd on Family Law]]

Latest revision as of 11:39, 30 July 2019

Parenting coordination is a child-focused dispute resolution process for separated families that deals with parenting disputes arising after an agreement or order has been made about parental responsibilities, parenting time, or contact. Parenting coordinators are experienced family law lawyers, mental health professionals (counsellors, social workers, family therapists, and psychologists), mediators, and arbitrators.

This section provides a provides a brief introduction to parenting coordination, an overview of the process, and links to some additional resources on parenting coordination.

Introduction[edit]

Parents who have a separation agreement or court order that establishes a parenting plan but are still fighting over the details may seek the assistance of a parenting coordinator to help resolve their disputes instead of repeatedly getting the courts involved. A parenting coordinator may be appointed by agreement or by order of the court. As with all family dispute resolution professionals, the parenting coordinator will meet with the parties separately prior to starting the process to screen for the presence of family violence.

What a parenting coordinator is[edit]

A parenting coordinator has specialized training in family law, mediation, arbitration, communications skills development, high conflict family dynamics, and child development. Parenting coordinators are governed by the Family Law Act, and the Family Law Act Regulation. In British Columbia, the BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society administers a roster of parenting coordinators who have met additional standards of training and experience and who abide by established practice guidelines.

What a parenting coordinator does[edit]

Regardless of how detailed a parenting plan or order may be, some parents repeatedly find things to argue about. This kind of parental behaviour has a particularly negative impact on children. A parenting coordinator can be useful in minimizing that conflict by coaching parents on how to:

  1. manage conflict,
  2. make better parenting decisions,
  3. compromise positions in the best interests of their children.

If that doesn't work, the parenting coordinator will mediate or, as a last resort, arbitrate the dispute between the parents. The long term goal of the parenting coordinator is to improve the parents' ability to communicate, problem solve, and make parenting decisions in a healthy and supportive way, without the need for third party interventions like a parenting coordinator or frequent applications to court. That goal may not be attainable for some parents.

Some examples of what a parenting coordinator may do are:

  • settling disputes or ambiguities about parenting schedules, extra-curricular activities, travel arrangements, holidays, and special events,
  • resolving issues about how child expenses will be paid,
  • deciding what school a child will attend,
  • determining if a child needs tutoring, therapy, or routine medical treatment, and
  • working out a protocol for a child’s belongings, inter-parent communications, parent-child communications, and attendance at a child's events.

What a parenting coordinator doesn't do[edit]

A parenting coordinator does not:

  • make original parenting plans or parenting orders,
  • make decisions changing custody or guardianship agreements or orders,
  • deal with property division, spousal support, or child support (with the possible exception of special expenses),
  • deal with relocation.

How the parenting coordinator works[edit]

A parenting coordinator is appointed by agreement or court order. The appointing agreement or order should specify who is being appointed and a deadline for signing the parenting coordination agreement and making payment of the required deposits and retainers. A list of parenting coordinators is available at the website of the BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society. Some parenting coordinators invite parents to a short meeting to discuss the parenting coordinator's role prior to the formal appointment. This meeting might have a fixed cost or no cost. Once parents agree, or are ordered, to appoint a parenting coordinator, they will enter a parenting coordination agreement for which they should have independent legal advice. The parenting coordination agreement sets out in detail what the parenting coordinator will do, how it will be done, the cost, and how the costs are to be paid. The agreement also provides for the term of the appointment. Section 15(4) of the Family Law Act says that the maximum term is for 24 months, which is also the recommended term for most appointments. 12 month appointments are fairly common, however. Shorter appointments (6 months) have been made in specific circumstances, but the process of parenting coordination generally requires longer term engagement with the family for the best outcomes. Parenting coordinator contracts may be renewed for successive terms if the parenting coordinator and the parents agree.

Most parenting coordinators require a deposit and retainer, the price of which typically depends on the length of the appointment, the urgency of any specific issue, the number of issues, and the level of conflict between the parents. Retainers commonly start at $5,000, plus deposits which are set by the specific parenting coordinator appointed. Each parent must each pay their share of the retainers and deposits. As with a lawyer's retainer, the parenting coordinator's retainer and deposit are security for their accounts. When bills are issued, they are paid from the retainer. Deposits are generally held until the end of the appointment and applied to the last account. Any balance remaining is returned to the parent who provided the funds.

Parenting coordinators charge by the hour for all time spent working with the family, so the service can be costly, especially if over-used. However, when compared with the cost of numerous applications to court, the process can be quite cost effective, especially with high conflict families. That said, the services of a parenting coordinator may be more expensive than some families can afford.

Depending on the circumstances and the age of the children, the parents may also be asked to sign a number of consent forms giving the children's doctors, care providers, teachers, therapists, and any other relevant people, permission to discuss the family with the parenting coordinator. After the parenting coordination agreement has been signed and the deposits and retainer paid, the parenting coordinators will meet with the parties, usually in person. Until the presence of family violence has been screened for and an assessment of the level of conflict has been made, most parenting coordinators will meet with the parties separately. The parenting coordinator may also meet with the children and relevant third parties, such as teachers, therapists, or doctors who may be helpful. The parenting coordinator will attempt to coach, mediate, and as a last resort, arbitrate, the resolution of the parenting issues raised. As other issues develop, the same process applies. Some issues may be resolved relatively quickly by phone or email, while other issues will require in person meetings. Either or both parents may bring an issue to the parenting coordinator for resolution, although there is an obligation on parents to make reasonable efforts to resolve disputes directly before engaging the parenting coordinator. For issues within the parenting coordination mandate, decisions of the parenting coordinator are enforceable by the court. Parents who fail to meet their obligations under the parenting coordination Agreement or fail to attend meetings arranged by the parenting coordinator may be penalized in costs, and their lack of cooperation may be reported by the parenting coordinator to the court.

Enforcing a determination[edit]

Parenting coordinators' determinations may be enforced by filing them in court, either under Rule 12 of the Provincial Court Family Rules or Rule 2-1.1 of the Supreme Court Family Rules.

Concluding the retainer[edit]

At the end of the parenting coordinator's term, parents and the parenting coordinator may agree to renew the parenting coordination agreement. If the agreement isn't renewed by unanimous agreement, the parenting coordination process is concluded unless the court orders a renewal or further appointment.

Under section 15(6) of the Family Law Act, a parenting coordination agreement can be terminated before the end of a parenting coordinator's term in one of three circumstances:

(a) in the case of an agreement, by agreement of the parties or by an order made on application by either of the parties;

(b) in the case of an order, by an order made on application by either of the parties;

(c) in any case, by the parenting coordinator, on giving notice to the parties and, if the parenting coordinator is acting under an order, to the court.

Resources and links[edit]

Legislation[edit]

Documents[edit]

Links[edit]


This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Morag MacLeod, Feb 13, 2019.


Creativecommonssmall.png JP Boyd on Family Law © John-Paul Boyd and Courthouse Libraries BC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.