Parenting coordination, also known as parenting consulting, is a newly developed, nation-wide, child-focused mediation process in which a mental health or legal professional with mediation training and experience helps parents to set up and follow through on their parenting plan in the best interests of their children. The overall objective of parenting coordination is healthy and meaningful parent-child relationships. Parenting coordination is a legal/mental health hybrid mediation process that combines assessment, education, case management, conflict management, and sometimes decision-making functions.

Parenting Coordinators are most frequently involved in high-conflict divorces with parents who have demonstrated a consistent inability or unwillingness
  • to make parenting decisions on their own,
  • to comply with parenting agreements and orders,
  • to reduce their child-related conflicts, and
  • to protect their children from the impact of that conflict.

Parenting Coordinators facilitate the resolution of disputes in a timely manner, educate parents about children’s developmental and emotional needs, and with prior approval of the parties and/or the Court, making decisions within the scope of the court order or appointment contract.

As a non-adversarial role in a process designed to reduce acrimony and settle disputes efficiently, a Parenting Coordinator may engage in ex parte (one-on-one) communications with each of the parties and/or their attorneys, if specified in writing in the Court’s order of appointment,
Parenting Coordinator Agreement, or stipulated agreement. This allows the Parenting Coordinator to initiate or receive ex parte oral or written communications with the parties and their attorneys, legal representatives of the children, and other parties relevant to understanding the issues without a return to the courtroom. Otherwise, the Parenting Coordinator communicates all agreements, recommendations, or decisions to all parties and counsel simultaneously.

The Court appoints Parenting Coordinators because these facilitators help the parties make co-parenting decisions without going to court, and when necessary, avoid Family Court proceedings by making decisions for the parties. Unlike
Parenting Time Expeditors, both parties must agree to the appointment of a Parenting Coordinator. The Parenting Coordinator will communicate with all parties, counsel, children, and others in a manner that preserves the integrity of the parenting coordination process and considers the safety of the parents and children. By court order, the Parenting Coordinator has access to all persons involved with adult and child family members and to all documentation necessary to fulfill the court-ordered responsibilities.

All charges for parenting consultation services shall be based upon the actual time expended by the Parenting Coordinator. All fees and costs charged by Northwest Mediation & Custody Evaluation Services shall be appropriately divided between the parties as directed by court order or as agreed upon in the Parenting Coordinator Agreement with the parties with the approval of the Court.

Northwest Mediation & Custody Evaluation Services staff are fully trained neutrals
as defined under Minnesota General Rules of Practice Rule 114,
and proud members of the

NWM&CES is a member of the AFCC