What is Parent Coordination? Parent coordination is a process intended for high conflict couples that are having difficulties agreeing on how to come to decisions affecting raising their children. Parent Coordination can be agreed to by both parents and their attorneys or sometimes the judge orders the involvement of the Parent Coordinator (“PC”)
What does a Parent Coordinator (“PC”) typically do? Due to the nature of the dynamics of the relationship of high conflict couples, one of the key tasks the PC concentrates on is improving communication. The PC also helps couples make decisions involving their children.
The PC usually communicates with other professionals involved in the case including, but not limited to attorneys, Guardians ad Litem (GAL), children and adult counselors, school teachers and/or administrators and school counselors. Therefore, it is important to understand that this process is not confidential like counseling usually is.
Usually the PC intervenes when there are conflicts that the couple is unable to resolve. Decision making and communication are part of, but not limited to, the areas the PCs usually are involved in.
How long does Parent Coordination take? The PC process tends to last over a longer time period. Sometimes it takes anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. The PC decides on the frequency and duration of his/her involvement. The long involvement of the PC is a distinct advantage as he/she understands the family’s needs better.
What if we have to go back to Court? Who will the PC go with? If either parent subpoenas me, I will attempt to avoid testifying; not because of a desire not to help a certain party, but to try to protect the PC process. Once I have testified, I usually am identified with one parent and therefore, it is usually necessary for me to be dismissed from the process. Since there is only one other trained PC in the Charleston area, it complicates continuing with the process.
What is the difference between Parent Coordination and Counseling? The PC process is much more directive with the PC dictating the topics and process discussed. Counseling for co-parents can sometimes be filed with insurance whereas the PC process, since it is not counseling, cannot be filed with health insurance. Also the process is not confidential.
How much does Parent Coordination cost? Parent Coordination fees are $170 per session. Most of the time, sessions are set up for 90 minutes. You will be requested to put a retainer on deposit. Visit the Fees & Payment page for more information.
How do I arrange for Parent Coordination? You can ask your attorney or your children’s GAL for a referral or it is possible to do a self-referral for PC services as long as your co-parent agrees. If your co-parent is not in agreement, your attorney can ask for the judge to order the PC’s involvement. Or, contact Helen Wheeler at: (843) 763-5837; Fax, (803) 753-0134, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where is the Center for Families? We are located at 1064 Gardner Dr. Suite 103 Garden View Office Park, Charleston, SC 29407, just off I-26 at the Cosgrove exit 216 Visit the Contact & Location page for more information.