The Parenting Coordinator needs information from other team members to know what they have done and what still needs to be done. These reports are usually treated confidentially, meaning the Parenting Coordinator may not share everything with all team members or with the parents. Listed below are some of the people who might be on the team:

• Attorney
• Teacher, tutor
• Therapist
• Parenting class instructor
• Anger management group leader
• Doctor
• Dentist, orthodontist
• Child care worker, nanny
• Coach
• Extended family

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Let’s talk about that last one — extended family. Because Grandma is a part of the team, the Parenting Coordinator may need to speak with her about a problem that Pamela is having. Or it may be necessary to ask Grandma to please stick to the schedule set out in the parenting plan.

The Parenting Coordinator will not tell family members more than is needed, however. Confidentiality will be kept as much as possible. Family members will only be told what they need to know about caring for the children. Confidentiality goes both ways. You also must be careful not to talk about what goes on in parenting coordination appointments except in a general way. “We are working out the parenting plan,” is all you should say. Then change the subject. It is too easy to slip and give out details that can hurt the planning process.

So, while you might be tempted to give the juicy details to your girlfriend or fishing buddy… don’t. Most of all, do not tell your children details of parenting coordination appointments. They do not need to know that your ex-wife screamed at you and called you an “ass****” during the session. Yes, it’s a great story. And it would make you feel good for a few minutes to tell it. But remember the fumes. Your children don’t need to breathe the fumes of their mother’s anger or your satisfaction that she lost control.



About Debra Carter

Dr. Carter is a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist. She is also a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator and a Parent Coordinator. She is Co-Founder and Chief Clinical Director of the National Cooperative Parenting Center (NCPC) offering a wide spectrum of services to the Mental Health and Legal Communities as well as to families and children who are struggling with divorce related issues. She is, a frequent expert to the court, and an international speaker, lecturer and trainer on parenting in divorce. She is a consultant to the US Department of State in matters of international child custody.

Dr. Carter is the leader in the development of standardized Parental Responsibility Guidelines emphasizing the needs of children in divorce, which have been adopted and endorsed by the court. She has received numerous awards including the the prestigious “John E. Van Duzer Distinguished Service Award” from the International Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.

Her work can be found through Unhooked Books: