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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.
 
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 parenting coordinator (PC) is===
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===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 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]''.
    
===What a parenting coordinator does===
 
===What a parenting coordinator does===
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*determining if a child needs tutoring, therapy or medical treatment
 
*determining if a child needs tutoring, therapy or medical treatment
 
*arranging parenting time for special events
 
*arranging parenting time for special events
*deciding how a child’s belongings should be distributed between their 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)
 
*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)
    
===What a parenting coordinator doesn't do===
 
===What a parenting coordinator doesn't do===
 
A parenting coordinator does not:
 
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
 
*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 property division, spousal support, or child support (with the possible exception of special expenses)
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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].
 
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 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.
 
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.
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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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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 six 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 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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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 their 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.
      
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.
 
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.
 
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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.
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.
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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.
 
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 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.
 
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.
  

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