The Role of Parenting Coordination in British Columbia Family Law


Co-parenting following a separation or divorce can be a complex and emotionally demanding endeavour. Disagreements about parenting matters often arise, such as schedules, decision-making, and communication between parents. Navigating these disputes can be distressing for both parents and children, making it essential to find effective tools and methods for resolution. Enter the concept of parenting coordination – a practical and increasingly popular option to manage and resolve co-parenting disputes in British Columbia’s family law landscape.

Parenting coordination is a child-focused, alternative dispute resolution process involving a neutral, trained professional who helps parents implement and follow parenting plans, agreements, or court orders. The primary goal of parenting coordination is to ensure parents can cooperate and make decisions in the best interest of their children, minimizing conflict and promoting healthy family dynamics. This process offers benefits such as quick and cost-effective dispute resolution, reduced stress for parents and children, and improved flexibility in parenting arrangements.

In this article, we will delve into the role of parenting coordination within British Columbia family law, helping parents understand this process’s value and effectiveness in navigating co-parenting disputes. We will explore important aspects such as the appointment of a parenting coordinator, the scope and limitations of their role, and the benefits of parenting coordination as an alternative to formal legal proceedings.

As a legal team dedicated to supporting the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland families, Dreyer and Associates is committed to providing educational, informative, and helpful resources pertaining to British Columbia family law. Join us as we examine parenting coordination and its potential to improve the co-parenting experience, foster healthier family dynamics, and resolve disputes efficiently and in the best interest of the children involved.

Understanding Parenting Coordination in British Columbia Family Law

Appointment of a Parenting Coordinator

The process of appointing a parenting coordinator can be initiated either by mutual agreement between the parents or through a court order in British Columbia. It is crucial to select a qualified professional equipped with appropriate training, education, and experience in family law and dispute resolution. Parenting coordinators are often experienced family lawyers, mental health professionals, or mediators with specialized training in parenting issues.

When seeking a suitable parenting coordinator, parents should consider factors such as credentials, dispute resolution approach, fees, and compatibility with both parties. A productive relationship between parents and the parenting coordinator can significantly impact the effectiveness and success of the parenting coordination process.

The Scope and Limitations of Parenting Coordination

Parenting coordination is designed to address co-parenting disputes in a proactive and efficient manner. The parenting coordinator’s role is to assist parents in implementing and adhering to the terms of their parenting plans or orders, facilitate communication between parents, and resolve conflicts before they escalate into larger issues.

However, it is essential to understand the limits of a parenting coordinator’s role. They cannot alter existing court orders or make decisions on fundamental issues such as custody or access. Instead, they can help resolve day-to-day parenting disputes relating to schedules, extracurricular activities, or communication protocols between parents.

Benefits of Parenting Coordination as an Alternative to Formal Legal Proceedings

1. Efficiency and Cost-Effectiveness: Parenting coordination provides a more expedited and cost-effective resolution to co-parenting disputes in comparison to formal legal proceedings. The process generally requires less time and financial investment, making it an attractive alternative for many families.

2. Confidentiality: Unlike court proceedings, discussions and negotiations held in parenting coordination sessions are typically confidential, allowing parties to address their issues with greater privacy and discretion.

3. Child-Centric Approach: The primary focus of parenting coordination is the well-being of the children involved. This approach enables parents to prioritize the best interests of their children by fostering improved communication, cooperation, and dispute resolution strategies.

4. Flexibility and Customization: Parenting coordination is tailored to address the unique needs, dynamics, and issues of each family. The process’ flexibility allows for personalized solutions that cater to the specific challenges faced by the parents in their co-parenting journey.

Challenges of Parenting Coordination and How to Address Them

Despite its benefits, parenting coordination can come with its set of challenges. For example, some parents might be hesitant to engage in the process due to concerns about the costs, relinquishing control over decision-making, or perceived bias from the parenting coordinator. Additionally, the success of parenting coordination largely depends on both parents’ willingness to cooperate and participate in the process.

To address these concerns, parents should maintain open communication lines with the parenting coordinator, voice their concerns, and provide feedback throughout the process. Engaging in open and honest dialogue can help build trust, overcome apprehensions, and ensure that each parent’s needs and concerns are considered in the decision-making process.

Embracing Parenting Coordination for Healthier Co-Parenting

Navigating the world of co-parenting after a separation or divorce can be a complex journey filled with emotions, disagreements, and uncertainty. Parenting coordination offers a valuable alternative for parents seeking to resolve their disputes effectively, efficiently, and in the best interest of their children. By considering the use of parenting coordination and embracing this child-centric approach, parents can work towards a healthier and more harmonious co-parenting relationship.

At Dreyer and Associates, our dedicated team of family lawyers in Fraser Valley is committed to supporting families as they navigate the complexities of British Columbia family law. With a wealth of experience in parenting coordination and a genuine dedication to helping our clients achieve positive outcomes for their children, we are here to guide you through each step of your co-parenting journey. Contact us today to learn more about parenting coordination and how it can enhance your family’s well-being and dispute resolution under British Columbia family law.





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