"It can be difficult to change your relationship with your children's other parent from a romantic one that didn't last into a business-like relationship using productive communication and conflict resolution skills. Your relationship with the other parent is changing, it is not ending... I can help you make that transition." ~Trey Trotter, LMFT
What is a Parenting Coordinator?
A Parenting Coordinator (PC) is a trained professional who engages in the practice of dispute resolution with high conflict parents. A trained professional, often a mental health practitioner, is appointed by the court. The PC usually has experience with high conflict parents, child development, family systems, patterns of domestic violence, knowledge of substance abuse, family law, and who has specific training in the practice of Parenting Coordination. The PC's role is to manage ongoing issues in high-conflict custody and visitation cases.
Parenting Coordinators are Best Utilized When...
1. Other means of conflict resolution have not worked and parties still have ongoing co-parenting
2. Co-parents have problems communicating and resolving conflict in a way that remains focused on the best interest of the child
3. One or the other co-parents has concerns about substance abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, or the mental health of the other party
4. Co-parents are still living together but need to discuss interim arrangements
5. Co-parents need help working through changes in their parenting plans or need assistance clarifying existing parenting plans
What are the Benefits of Parenting Coordination?
1. Reduces stress for the children
2. Reduces stress for co-parents
3. Parents learn effective conflict resolution and co-parenting communication skills
4. Provides monitoring and reporting of progress and compliance to the court
5. Informs parties of child development issues
How Do I get a Parenting Coordinator Assigned?
Parenting Coordination must be ordered. You or your attorney must make either a verbal or written request of the court. Ms. Trotter only accepts this version of the Order Appointing Parenting Coordinator. Print out this order or refer your attorney to this link in order to begin the process of appointing Ms. Trotter.
How Does Ms. Trotter Process PC Cases?
Parties will always meet separately for their first appointment, their "Intake Appointment," which is two hours in length. This gives each party an opportunity to explain their side of the story. This also allows Ms. Trotter the opportunity to explain how the process of Parent Coordination works, including reviewing the rules, and fees, answering and clarifying the paperwork and PC process, and all applicable paperwork. The next session is scheduled jointly, where both parties are present. If a protective order is in place, times can be staggered and parties can be separated in separate rooms. Usually, parties meet regularly in the beginning, with sessions being scheduled out according to the level of co-parenting conflict. It is Ms. Trotter's intention to teach co-parents to use the tools to co-parent independently and to eventually meet with the parties only on an "as-needed" basis. No retainers are necessary as long as parties follow the Rules and/or the Fee Payment Agreements located in their Intake Packets.
Ms. Trotter was on the working committee of the Families in Transition Program, and assisted in writing the Order Appointing Parenting Coordinator courts still use in its amended form. As a pioneer in the Parenting Coordination process, Ms. Trotter also helped establish the local court rules and was present during the writing of the first legislation in the country that governed the actions of the PC. She was also present for the writing of the legislative revision in 2003.