Parenting Coordination is a problem-solving service offered to parents raising children between homes who seek professional assistance in working together to keep their children free from the parents’ conflicts. Parenting Coordination is a child-centered dispute resolution service that assists parents in developing and implementing workable parenting plans when they are unable to do so on their own. Our parenting coordination process uses an education based model utilizing one male, Bradley S. Craig, LMSW-IPR, CFLE serving as the parenting facilitator and one female professional serving as the communication coach. The professional team works to educate parents, meet jointly with both parents to develop an ongoing plan, monitor communications through Our Family Wizard, and assign tasks for parents as needed such as homework. Unlike parenting facilitation, parenting coordination is confidential.
In order to begin services with families, the following 7 fully completed intake forms must be on file for each adult along with their retainers:
- a fully completed data form
- a completed service form
- a copy of the court order (click here for a sample)
- attorney release form
- mental health professional release form
- medical release form
- a signed copy of the advisement form with initials on each page
- $600.00 retainer from each parent made out to Bradley Craig and mailed to the mailing address. Please include a cover note with the last name of the child(ren), service you are paying for, cause number, and name of the person the check is for if it does not match the name on the check. Post dated checks and credit cards are not accepted for the initial retainer.
Please deliver each form separately via .pdf scan to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax (972) 704-2912. Once all the forms are fully completed and on file by both parents and the retainers have been paid, an initial appointment letter will be sent to the parents to schedule the initial joint appointment. Because of the nature of high conflict families, it is important for us to maintain a written paper trail so phone calls will not be returned. If you have questions, please send questions in e-mail.
Please do not send paper copies of information as we maintain digital files. If you mail your documents, you will be charged the rate of $200.00 per hour for time spent scanning documents in to digital format so you are encouraged to fax or scan your material.
Do not e-mail or otherwise communicate with Mr. Craig regarding the history of your case, your concerns regarding the other parent, or other relevant information prior to your initial session though you are encouraged to address your concerns on your personal data form.
For some parents, conflict continues to create distress for them and their children beyond the divorce. Problems may arise over issues that are not specifically addressed in their parenting plan. For example, the parenting plan may say that parents decide together on extra-curricular activities for their children but may not indicate how to deal with disagreements about these activities. When a conflict arises, children often feel caught in the middle. This situation may put them at greater risk for emotional and behavioral problems—e.g., poor school performance, anxiety, uncontrollable anger, and depression.
While divorce itself places children at risk for various psychological difficulties, research has shown that the strongest predictor of child maladjustment after divorce is exposure to high levels of inter-parental conflict, particularly when the conflict is hostile, aggressive, poorly resolved, and focused on issues pertaining to the children. In approximately 10% to 15% of families of divorce, such conflict continues at a high level for several years following the formal divorce decree, and it typically causes the children and the parents to suffer significant and prolonged psychological distress.
Intense and prolonged inter-parental conflict can also cause problems for children indirectly. It can impair the ability of each parent to deal effectively with the children. It can draw the children into the conflict and disrupt the children’s relationships with one or both parents. In addition, it can lead to a reduction in financial support of the children by one or both parents, due to the financial costs of repeated litigation and one or both parents becoming less willing to contribute financially.
Even parents who have been able to protect their children from divorce-related conflict may encounter problems when new situations arise—e.g., remarriage.
Parenting coordinators help parents by:
- raising parents’ skill level in collaborative planning and decision making for their children
- educating parents on co-parenting techniques and issues related to children growing up between two homes.
- identifying sources of conflict between them and consider ways to address them
- facilitating communication between the parents and between parents and others who relate to the children—e.g., grandparents, school personnel, and therapists
- reducing chronic litigation (and preserve family resources)
- using mediation techniques to deal with specific issues
- assisting the parents in compliance with court orders
The parenting coordinator may do this by reviewing written evaluations and reports, and talking with other significant individuals involved with the family (doctors, therapists, school personnel, lawyers, etc.) The parenting coordinator will meet with the parents jointly, and communicate by fax and email. Home visits may be made if requested by the court. A parent coordinator as defined by the law can not testify in court or submit a report into evidence. The only form of communication that is allowed with the court is for a Parent Coordinator to report if the process is succeeding and if it should continue.
Costs and Payment
The rate for Parenting Coordination is $200.00 per hour rounded up to the nearest 15 minute increment. This includes all services of the Parenting Coordinator including reviewing documentation, meetings, correspondences, phone contact, email, court time, legal expenses, and consultation with other family service providers.
This service is confidential. However, if a client or attorney requests a court appearance, deposition, or participation in any type of settlement conference by Mr. Craig there will be a minimum charge and deposit of three hours ($750.00) per day. If the court or both attorneys request a court appearance, deposition, or participation in any type of settlement conference by Mr. Craig, these fees are split unless otherwise addressed in the order. Once the deposit is received Mr. Craig will block of the time to appear. Please note: if an appearance request and the deposit is received without a minimum of one week notice the nonrefundable deposit is due immediately and there will be an additional $250.00 express charge ($1000.00). Failure to provide the nonrefundable deposit at least 48 weekday business hours (Monday through Friday, excluding holidays) constitutes release from the requested appearance. Deposits are nonrefundable unless cancellation of the appearance request is received by the requesting individual or attorney not less than 10 business workdays in advance.
For a listing of notices and general disclosures of business relationships please go here.