Parenting Coordination & Facilitation in Texas is defined as "An impartial third party appointed by the court, or by mutal mediated agreement, to assist parents in resolving issues relating to parenting and other family issues arising from an order in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship." It is a conciliatory process that provides an alternative to litigation for solving parenting conflicts during divorce, separation or ongoing custody. The role of Parenting Coordinators (PC) and Parenting Facilitators (PF) is to educate and empower parents to self-determine a parenting plan in the best interest of their children and resolve conflicts regarding implementing the parenting plan through effective communication. Agreements between the parents are encouraged in order to help them communicate more effectively. The PC or PF determines the procedures and techniques used in working with parents to achieve effective co-parenting.
Duties of the court-appointed PC or PF are limited to matters which will aid the parents in the following areas in accordance with Texas Family Code §153.601-611:
identifying disputed issues;
- reducing misunderstandings;
- clarifying priorities;
- exploring possibilities for problem solving;
- developing methods of collaboration in parenting;
- understanding parenting plans and reaching agreements about parenting issues to be included in a parenting plan and;
- complying with the court's order regarding conservatorship or possession of and access to the child;
- implementing parenting plans;
- obtaining training regarding problem solving, conflict management, and parenting skills; and
- settling disputes regarding parenting issues and reaching a proposed joint resolution or statement of intent regarding those disputes.