Parenting Coordination In Divorce
Does this idea have any merit in Australia? Is there a better alternative? Parenting coordination has been established in America and Canada for many years. Its purpose is to assist the children of parents who are in significant divorce conflict with each other, and as a result cannot get their act together to properly implement a parenting plan. A parenting coordinator is a person trained in dispute resolution who can help parents to focus on their children’s needs, to understand what it is like to be one of their kids, with the goal of ensuring that arrangements for the time children spend with their parents works properly.
Parenting coordination recognises that the greatest problem the parents have is their own relational conflict, rather than there being any real problem with the court orders or mediated agreements. From my perspective, by this time the horse has well and truly bolted.
Questions On The Family Law Act
Our Family Law Act requires parents to mediate arrangements for the children before being permitted to ask a court to make orders. My question is why our Family Law Act does not require parents to work on their own relational conflict, before asking the court to make children’s orders? Spending resources at the front end of family separation, preventing court proceedings and the entrenchment and escalation of relational conflict is surely a better investment than spending the same resources on parenting coordination. At that stage, it is likely that court proceedings will have escalated the conflict between the parents, they will have continued their conflict for months or years longer, making it much tougher to treat. Is this another example of a failure to see the blindingly obvious in supporting families in separation? An interdisciplinary collaborative approach in these separations, would be enormously powerful, cost-effective and child focused. High conflict people and high conflict relationships are likely to require considerable therapeutic support, which can be organised as part of a collaborative process where the professionals recognise and are prepared to act upon that need.