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Parenting coordination

Parenting coordination was developed to reduce post-divorce/separation conflict. It offers parents a forum to resolve disputes regarding their children or maintenance after they have been divorced or separated, without going to court. Parenting coordinators are experienced mediators in family law and appointed by agreement in terms of a Court Order and are mandated to resolve disputes that arise post-divorce/separation – mainly relating to the best interests of the children.

Parenting coordinators and
children’s needs

Parenting coordinators are not authorized to issue directives around relocation, inside or outside the borders of South Africa. This may vary depending on the parenting plan or the contact arrangements already agreed upon but the parenting coordinator may make a recommendation which is non-binding. Parenting coordinators frequently deal with disputes regarding contact and holiday arrangements, choices of schooling or any other aspect of the children’s lives where the parents need to make joint decisions. Some Court orders also mandate the parenting coordinator to resolve disputes around maintenance but may not vary maintenance orders by issuing a directive. Parenting coordinators, like mediators, are trained by FAMAC in a dedicated 40 hour training course.

What to expect from
parenting coordinators

Parenting coordinators are authorised to issue directives in certain mandated areas, they mediate and make recommendations that are binding on both parents. These directives can only be varied by a Court of competent jurisdiction or by agreement between the parents.

Requirements of parenting

Parenting coordinators are required to attempt to resolve disputes by way of mediation at first instance. Parenting coordinators are also authorised to speak to all relevant parties including the children, and in some instances it may be necessary for a parenting coordinator to appoint an expert to complete various assessments, which could include contact and care, holiday contact, change of school.

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