SHORT-TERM PARENTING COORDINATION. We formerly offered Co-Parenting Counseling as a non-confidential, brief therapeutic process. It proved to be confusing for all involved, and we realized that most clients need a short-term, non-confidential process during litigation to help attorneys, GALs and Judges determine the appropriate custody/visitation schedule based on how well the parents are able to communicate. To address that issue, we have eliminated Co-Parenting Counseling (as a brief therapeutic process) and have added Short-Term Parenting Coordination that can be done while litigation is pending under a temporary order or after litigation is over to determine if Long-Term Parenting Coordination (see below) might be in order. Short-Term PC is SIX SESSIONS ONLY (one session with each parent and four joint sessions) with no out-of-session work involved. It is designed to help co-parents refocus their relationship from its former emotional/romantic style to a new practical and business format, as well as learn a structured email protocol to manage their communication. A Parenting Coordinator can offer the tools and strategies to guide co-parents into a new way of thinking about how to raise their children without conflict. At the end of the six sessions, the PC will provide a written recommendation as to whether or not the parents would benefit from continued, Long-Term PC. The job of a PC is NOT to make custody recommendations, nor to resolve litigated issues that are better resolved with a mediator.
LONG-TERM PARENTING COORDINATION. This is a long-term intervention (6-18 months) that is designed to address high-conflict co-parenting relationships in which there is a history or high risk of chronic litigation. Children suffer greatly when their childhoods are defined by co-parent conflict, especially the type that leads to constant court intervention and the child being forced to choose a side. A Parenting Coordinator will not only help co-parents refocus their relationship onto the needs of the children, but also help them resolve conflicts on a regular basis rather than using the court system as their first choice of resolution. Parenting Coordinators are trained to teach, model and guide parents to engage in appropriate professional communication. They also may speak with other involved professionals, and the court if necessary, to assist both parents in adhering to the mandates of the court-ordered parenting plan in a peaceful manner.