What is Parenting Coordination?
Parent Coordination (PC) is a service available to parents to help implement their parenting plan (agreement or court order). These parents may have had problems with working together in the past, have had numerous court hearings, or are entering this process as a way of preventing problems in the future by learning how to co-parent their children.
The basic guiding principles of PC are as follows:
- Parents need to make every effort to keep their children out of their disputes as conflict between parents negatively impacts children.
- Child(ren) benefit from having meaningful relationships with both parents.
- The PC process is a child-focused dispute resolution process that is designed to assist parents to settle their disputes in a timely manner using a child-focused dispute resolution process.
At Violet C Pergel MSW, the PC is a hybrid role that blends some or all of the following 6 legal and mental health functions as part of the PC process
a) Assessment – Assessment of the Family and Parenting Issues
b) Parent Education and Coaching – Educates and Coaches parents on various different topics such as effective communication, co-parenting skills, the impact of separation/divorce on children, child development, and impact of parental conflict on children.
c) Coordination and Case Management – Consult with other parties who have been involved with your family such as counsellors, assessors, teachers or other identified individuals. Furthermore, the PC may also take on the role Case Coordinator and Case Management to serve as team leader if needed.
d) Child Specialist – Meet with children to identify children’s issues (f appropriate), needs and wishes related to family functioning. Issues identified during the time spent with the child(ren) will be brought back to the parent so that the parents may incorporate the issues into their decision-making. This office operates under the principle that “Children may have a voice, but Parents make the choice.”
e) Facilitation and Mediation – Provide an opportunity for the parents to resolve their own disputes over parenting issues with the PC guiding the process. Agreements made during the mediation process can be included in the Arbitration Decision if both parties agree.
f) Decision Making and Arbitration: Hold hearing and make decision about unresolved parenting disputes within the PC scope as outlined in a Consent Order or Practice Note 7 intervention.
Decisions excluded from Arbitration include:
- Any permanent and substantial changes in parenting time schedules (that creates or changes an obligation to pay child support)
- No authority to determine child support
- Relocation (change in geographic residence)
- Legal custody issues
The decisions are binding decisions with appeal rights, with the courts having ultimate jurisdiction.
For more information about Parenting Coordination, please visit Alberta Parenting Coordination Group and Alberta Family Mediation Society webpage Scope of Practice of Registered Parenting Coordinator and Arbitrator (RPCA)
Interested in Obtaining PC Services at this Office
Here are the steps that need to be followed:
1) Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting PC information and the following documents will be emailed to you:
- Alberta Parenting Coordination Group Brochure – Provides information on PC.
- Common Questions and Answers about Parenting Coordination
- Violet’s Parenting Coordination Training and Experience.
Note: Please do not include specific information about your case, as it is important for the PC to be completely neutral or impartial. Violet is available only be answering questions about the PC process. Once Violet has been appointed as Parenting Coordinator, you will have an opportunity to provide details of your case. As both parents must agree to use the same PC, please pass on my email address to the other parent. This business no longer will contact the other parent without the other parent’s consent. Furthermore, if either parent or any of the children has ever seen or knows Violet in any capacity (socially, as counsellor, therapist or mediator), Violet cannot proceed in the role of Parenting Coordinator.
2)Share information with other parent,and come to an agreement whether both parties want to proceed with the appointment of Violet C Pergel as Parenting Coordinator.
3) Obtain a copy of the Parenting Coordinator Agreement by emailing violet with a request. P
3) If both parents are interested, Violet C Pergel needs to be appointed as Parenting Coordinator by Consent Order of the Court or by both parties agreeing in front of the Court for a Practice Note 7 Intervention (Parenting Coordination). Sample Consent Orders are available, if requested by email.
4) Take Parenting Coordinator (PC) agreement to a lawyer’s office
- to review PC agreement,
- sign PC agreement,
- have lawyer complete Certificate of Independent Legal Advice
- obtain a Consent order appointing Violet C Pergel as PC, and outlying what areas Ms Pergel as PC will have jurisdiction to make decisions (if not previously done by parents themselves).
Please note: Though parents do not require a lawyer to be involved in the Parenting Coordination process, it is important are fully aware of the legal ramifications of entering a PC agreement. Thus, parents need to have a lawyer involved at the beginning to go over the PC agreement, witness their signature, obtain a Consent Order (if not previously done) and complete the Certificate of Independent Legal Advice. Both parties may also present themselves in front of the Court for a Practice Note 7 Intervention (Parent Coordination).
5) The following forms must be received by Violet, before the first appointment is made (Signed PC agreement by both parents, Certificate of Independent Advice, Consent Order Or Practice Note 7 Parent Coordination Court Order, and Retainer of $1000.00). Parents must also include copies of all court order, parenting plans, Separation Agreement, Memorandum of Understanding. Once these documentations are received and reviewed, Violet will mail out an intake package to be complete and returned before the first intake session. Cases are only accepted if there is a fully developed parenting plan, order or decree,