Parenting Coordination; binding advice for divorced parents

What is Parenting Coordination?

Parenting coordination is a new form of conflict resolution in The Netherlands for recently-divorced parents. By means of parenting coordination, parents can resolve their conflicts without having to go to court. In this process, the interests of the children are paramount.

The parenting coordinator (PC) helps parents with implementation and compliance with the parenting plan, and making (minor) changes in the parenting plan, the care arrangements or holiday plans, as well as individual events such as birthdays. The PC is solution-oriented and looks, together with the parents, for a tailor-made solution that avoids legal proceedings. Are the parents still unable to reach an agreement? Then the PC can offer (binding) advice.

Here are a few examples of problems whereby the PC can offer a solution:

  • Choice of school;
  • Permission for a holiday abroad;
  • Moving within the country;
  • Medical matters and, if required, with the advice of a medical specialist;
  • Contribution towards the costs of children or conflicts regarding spousal;
  • Does the care arrangement lasts until Sunday evening or Monday morning?
  • Will our child play soccer or hockey?
  • Will the children spend the first weeks of the summer holiday with their father or their mother? How to determine the length of the holiday;
  • Temporary changes in the care arrangement and/or how to contact each other regarding e.g. when a parent or child gets sick or dealing with Corona restrictions;
  • How to distribute the Christmas holidays?
  • How often are calls allowed?
  • Minor disputes between parents in situations of assisting youth.

The PC’s working method has proven effective in other countries (such as South Africa); ex-partners can reach a solution without needing to involve a judge, whereby the PC has more authority than a mediator. Should the parents not be able to reach an agreement, then the PC can provide a recommendation, make a proposal or even give a binding advice, as long as both parties have given prior consent.

Currently, there is a lot of uncertainty and discussion concerning care arrangements with respect to the Coronavirus. Lawsuits and court cases can only take you so far. A PC can provide a quick and cost-effective solution (online) and therefore relieve the burden on the judiciary, youth care workers, as well as for the parents and children.

Would you like more information? You can visit the website of Parenting Coordination Nederland or call for a non-committal introduction with the PC of our office, attorney-mediator  Janneke Mulder via 06 24717009.