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==Introduction==
 
==Introduction==
Parents may have a separation agreement or court order that establishes a parenting plan. If that's the case but they are still fighting over the details, the parents may agree, or a court may order, that a parenting coordinator assist them in resolving those issues instead of repeatedly getting the courts involved. Parenting coordination is a child-centered dispute resolution process aimed at high conflict personalities. As with all family dispute resolution professionals, the parent coordinator will meet with the parties separately prior to starting the process to screen for the presence of family violence.
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Parents may have a separation agreement or court order that establishes a parenting plan. If that's the case but they are still fighting over the details, the parents may agree, or a court may order, that a parenting coordinator assist the parents to resolve their disputes instead of repeatedly getting the courts involved. Parenting coordination is a child-centered dispute resolution process aimed at high conflict personalities. 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.
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===What a parent coordinator is===
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===What a parenting coordinator is===
A parenting coordinator (PC) has specialized training in family law,  mediation, arbitration, communications skills development, high conflict family dynamics and child development. Parent coordinators are members of the  [http://www.bcparentingcoordinators.com/ BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society] and governed by the Society as well as the [[Family Law Act]], and the ''[http://canlii.ca/t/8rdx Family Law Act Regulation]''.
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A parenting coordinator has specialized training in family law,  mediation, arbitration, communications skills development, high conflict family dynamics and child development. Parenting coordinators are members of the  [http://www.bcparentingcoordinators.com/ BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society] and governed by the Society as well as the [[Family Law Act]], and the ''[http://canlii.ca/t/8rdx Family Law Act Regulation]''.
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===What a parent coordinator does===
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===What a parenting coordinator does===
The parent coordinator provides parties who cannot agree on aspects of parenting with a relatively quick and informal way to resolve their disputes. Regardless of how detailed a parenting plan or order may be, some parents will always find things to argue about and it is the children who pay the price for this kind of parental behavior. A parent coordinator may be useful in minimizing that conflict by attempting to educate and coach the parents on how to manage conflict in a healthy way . If that doesn’t work the PC will mediate or, as a last resort, arbitrate the dispute between the parents. The long term goal of the PC is to enable the parents to parent in a healthy and supportive way, without the need for Parenting Coordinators or frequent applications to Court, although that goal may not be  
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The parenting coordinator provides parties who cannot agree on aspects of parenting with a relatively quick and informal way to resolve their disputes. Regardless of how detailed a parenting plan or order may be, some parents will always find things to argue about and it is the children who pay the price for this kind of parental behavior. A parenting coordinator may be useful in minimizing that conflict by attempting to educate and coach the parents on how to manage conflict in a healthy way. 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 enable the parents to parent in a healthy and supportive way, without the need for a parenting coordinator or frequent applications to court. That goal may not be attainable for some parents.  
attainable for some parents.  
      
Some examples of what a PC may do are:
 
Some examples of what a PC may do are:
-deciding extra curricular activities and how they will be paid
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*deciding extra curricular activities and how they will be paid
-deciding what school the child will attend
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*deciding what school the child will attend
-determining if a child needs tutoring, therapy or medical treatment
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*determining if a child needs tutoring, therapy or medical treatment
-arranging parenting time for special events
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*arranging parenting time for special events
-deciding how a child’s belongings should be distributed between his or her parents’ homes
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*deciding how a child’s belongings should be distributed between his or her parents' homes
-deciding the specifics of parenting time if the Agreement or Order is more general (for example the agreement says the parents will share time approximately equally but doesn’t say exactly how)
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*deciding the specifics of parenting time if the agreement or order is more general (for example the agreement says the parents will share time approximately equally but doesn't say exactly how)
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===What a parent coordinator doesn’t do===
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===What a parenting coordinator doesn't do===
A parent coordinator does not;
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A parenting coordinator does not:
-make original orders for Parenting Time
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*make original orders for Parenting Time
-make decisions changing custody or guardianship agreements or orders
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*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)
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*deal with property division, spousal support, or child support (with the possible exception of special expenses)
-deal with relocation
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*deal with relocation
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===How the parent coordinator works===
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===How the parenting coordinator works===
The PC is appointed by agreement or court order. 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].
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The parenting coordinator is appointed by agreement or court order. 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].
Because the PC role is relatively invasive in a family’s life, some PC’s offer an opportunity for the parents to have a relatively short meeting with him or her to meet each other and discuss the role, prior to the formal appointment, either at a fixed cost or no cost.
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Because the parenting coordinator role is relatively invasive in a family's life, 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 the parents and the PC agree, they will enter a Parenting Coordination Agreement (http://www.bcparentingcoordinators.com/assets/pdfs/BCPCRS_standard_pc_agreement_template_sept_2014.pdf) for which they should have Independent Legal Advice. The PC Agreement sets out  in some detail  what the PC will do, how it will be done, the cost and how it is to be paid. The agreement also provides for the term of the arrangement. It may be as short as 6 months but most PC’s will require that the term be at least 12 to 24 months with an opportunity for the parents to renew the contract if the PC remains willing. Most PCs will require a retainer and/or a deposit of $5000 to $10,000 and up. 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.  
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Once the parents and the parenting coordinator agree, they will enter a [http://www.bcparentingcoordinators.com/assets/pdfs/BCPCRS_standard_pc_agreement_template_sept_2014.pdf Parenting Coordination Agreement] for which they should have independent legal advice. The parenting coordinator agreement sets out  in some detail  what the parenting coordinator will do, how it will be done, the cost and how it is to be paid. The agreement also provides for the term of the arrangement. It may be as short as 6 months but most parenting coordinators will require that the term be at least 12 to 24 months with an opportunity for the parents to renew the contract if the parenting coordinator remains willing. Most parenting coordinators will require a retainer and/or a deposit of $5,000 to $10,000 and up. The parents must each then pay their share of the parenting coordinator's retainer. As with a lawyer retainer, the parenting coordinator retainer is security for the parenting coordinator's future bills. When bills are issued, parenting coordinators pay themselves out of retainer.  
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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. PC’s charge by the hour for all time spent working with the family so they are very expensive. They may be cheaper in the long run than paying lawyers for numerous applications to Court but they may be more expensive than most families can afford.
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Some parenting coordinators may 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. Parenting coordinators charge by the hour for all time spent working with the family, so they are expensive. They can still be cheaper in the long run than paying lawyers for numerous applications to court, but they may nonetheless be more expensive than families can afford.
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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 PC.
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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 Agreement has been signed and the retainer paid,  the parents usually have some issues which have accumulated and the PC will then meet with the parties, usually in person and usually together, at least for the first meeting.  The PC may also meet with the children and any other people, such as teachers, therapists or doctors who may be helpful.
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After the Agreement has been signed and the retainer paid,  the parents usually have some issues which have accumulated and the parenting coordinators will then meet with the parties, usually in person and usually together, at least for the first meeting.  The PC may also meet with the children and any other people, such as teachers, therapists or doctors who may be helpful.
The PC will attempt to educate, coach,  mediate, and as a last resort, arbitrate, the resolution of the issue.  As other issues develop, the same process applies.  Some issues may be resolved relatively  quickly by phone or email, other issues will require in person meetings.
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The parenting coordinator will attempt to educate, coach,  mediate, and as a last resort, arbitrate, the resolution of the issue.  As other issues develop, the same process applies.  Some issues may be resolved relatively  quickly by phone or email, other issues will require in person meetings.
Either or both  parents may  bring an issue to the PC for resolution.  Although the PC has no power to force anyone to do anything, it is worth noting decisions of PCs may be enforceable by the Court.  Parents who fail to meet their obligations under the PC agreement or fail to attend meetings arranged by the PC may be penalized in costs and their lack of cooperation  may be reported by the PC to the Court.
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Either or both  parents may  bring an issue to the parenting coordinator for resolution.  Although the parenting coordinator has no power to force anyone to do anything, it is worth noting decisions of parenting coordinators may be enforceable by the Court.  Parents who fail to meet their obligations under the parenting coordinator 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'''===
 
=='''Enforcing a determination'''===

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