Parent Coordination

What is Parent Coordination?
The following 3 paragraphs are directly from the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts website (AFCC)

Understanding the Parenting Coordination Process
Parenting Coordination: WHY?
When children are exposed to ongoing conflict between their parents, they are at significant risk for social, academic and mental health problems, and may experience more difficulty with their own intimate relationships in the long term. Parenting coordination can help to reduce parents’ conflict and may shield children from exposure to their parents’ disagreements. The parenting coordinator can help parents resolve child-related issues in a timely manner without court involvement and can protect and sustain safe, healthy and meaningful parent-child relationships. Most importantly, the parenting coordinator can help parents focus on the best interests of their children, rather than on their anger toward one another.

Parenting Coordination: WHEN?
Parenting coordination is appropriate for high conflict cases dealing with child-related issues, such as when there is a high rate of litigation, especially concerning the implementation of a custody order or parenting plan; mediation has not been successful or has been deemed inappropriate; parents need assistance developing, modifying or implementing their parenting plan; parents have difficulty communicating information about their child’s welfare; parenting are unable to agree on substantive issues concerning their child; there are complex child-related or family issues that require intensive case managing; and parents can afford to pay for the parenting coordinator’s services or the services can be provided at no expense.  Parenting coordination is not for cases in which it has been determined that the process may compromise the safety of parents of the minor children.

Parenting Coordination: WHAT?
Parenting coordination is an alternative dispute resolution process combining assessment, education, case management, conflict resolution and, sometimes, decision-making functions. A Parenting coordinator (PC) is typically appointed by a court order or private consent agreement to help parents implement, modify and comply with the parenting plan. PCs assist parents by providing: (1) education about co-parenting and parental communication; (2) the psychological and developmental needs of the children; (3) strategies to manage conflict and reduce the negative effects on children; and (4) effective post-separation parenting. To further assist parents and children, PCs facilitate referrals to community providers when necessary and collaborate with other professionals who may already be involved with the family.

Dr. Thorpe has attended several parent coordination trainings through the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC). She has further professional experience in the areas of parenting and couple’s counseling. She has a certificate in Mediation Training: Family Law Cases from the NJ Institute for Continuing Legal Education.  Dr. Thorpe attends advanced trainings to keep current in the field.

Fee Schedule:
Fees for Parent Coordination are $300 per hour on a prorated basis. An initial retainer of $3500 is obtained prior to services beginning. Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, each party will be responsible for one half of the retainer and all accrued fees. An additional retainer will be obtained if further services are required. Please see Agreement for more details.