What is Parent Coordination?
Parent Coordination is a helpful process for parents who have decided to separate
or divorce but who are committed to assuring their children's well-being.
The goal of parenting coordination is to facilitate parents working together to keep
their children free from their conflicts. Parent coordination recognizes that while
conflict is a normal part of divorce, how well parents manage that conflict affects
both the immediate and long-term well being of their children. A Parent
Coordinator (PC), is a specially trained professional who utilizes a problem-solving
approach in high conflict divorce situations. The Association of Family and
Conciliation Courts (AFCC), an organization dedicated to the welfare of children in
the midst of divorce has established guidelines for Parent Coordinators. You can
look at those guidelines by clicking on this link: Guidelines for Parent Coordination.
Regardless of how carefully lawyers may have crafted divorce settlements regarding
child custody, conflict continues to create distress for many parents and their
children beyond the divorce. Problems frequently arise over issues that may not be
specifically addressed in the parenting plan. Common examples are vacation plans,
medical decisions, curfews, relations with extended family, dating, etc. The
parenting plan may stipulate that parents must agree on certain aspects of their
children’s lives and activities but seldom addresses how to deal with disagreements
when they arise. Working with the parent coordinator can help parents avoid
going back to court and provide a safe setting for dispute resolution.
Parents often have many unresolved issues between them and have not yet gotten
what we refer to as an “emotional divorce.” Thus, when conflict erupts children
are usually caught in the middle of these conflicts—and may themselves be a factor
in preventing resolution. While divorce is certainly going to be problematic for
children and their parents, research and clinical observation confirm that children
who are caught in the middle in high conflict divorces are at greater risk for
emotional and behavioral problems, among them, anxiety, anger, depression, and
diminished school performance.
|Westchester Parent Coordination
Elliott J. Rosen, Ed.D., L.M.F.T.
Elliott J. Rosen, Ed.D., L.M.F.T., Director
Emeritus of Family Institute of Westchester is
a highly trained and experienced parent
coordinator and mediator who guides
parents to do the very best for their
children at some of the most difficult times
of their lives.
Talking to your children about divorce may
be the most important step you take in
preparing them for what to expect and
helping them to adjust. Helping Children
Understand Divorce is a helpful guide for
parents that you will find worthwhile. Click
on the link and look through it.
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