Parenting coordination is a fairly recent idea in Alberta which has become more and more used for the last 10 to 15 years. A Parenting Coordinator is generally a trained social worker, psychologist or lawyer. However, in Alberta there are no regulatory bodies for Parenting Coordinators so care should be taken when choosing one, especially if you wish to agree that he or she has arbitration abilities (i.e. decision-making ability if the parents cannot decide on something).

Parenting Coordinators serve as mediators, educators, coaches and also, in some cases as decision-makers. They can be very helpful to families in which both parents are motivated to end the conflict and do what is in their children’s best interests.

To summarize, some of the pros of Parenting Coordinators are they generally have specialized knowledge of child and adolescent development, are trained in mediation, and may be less expensive than alternatives. The cons are that you must pay for the Parenting Coordinator, after you agree to use a Parenting Coordinator, you may not agree with some decisions that they make, and you will not be able to easily disengage from the process as parenting coordination can be an ongoing year-long process.