A parent coordinator is a trained individual vested with the authority to confer with the parties, together or separately, to aid the parties in reducing conflict, compromising, complying with custodial terms and developing methods for collaborative parenting. Parent coordinators may also be granted the authority to make decisions about the implementation of the parenting plan. Parties can consent to use a parent coordinator. In addition, a court can appoint a parenting coordinator without the consent of the parties if the court has made a specific finding that it is a high conflict case and the parties have the ability to pay for it.
Communications with the parent coordinator are not privileged and the parent coordinator is not a counselor for the parties or the children. Parties need to be aware of the ongoing expense if a parent coordinator is put in place. Lori Vitale serves as a parent coordinator and has had the court appoint parent coordinators in some high conflict cases.