514 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 4 JULY 2018
10. I have spent too long trying to build consensus.
11. I have spent too long writing determinations.
12. I have spent a lot of time listening to stories about the injustices of
the trial process, the work of their counsel, etc.
Against these developmental issues in my practice are the litigation
options which are still going to be available to parents. Parenting coordinator
work might be described as the worst family management tool
available … except for all the rest. That is a bit of hyperbole but the point
is that the court system, particularly after trial or settlement, is a blunt
instrument to continue to have to utilize, for a number of reasons which
are obvious to everyone practising family law.
The costs associated with parenting coordinator work cannot be compared
to litigation options or even mediation or arbitration, for a number
of reasons which I would describe as follows:
1. Most determinations which get made by parenting coordinators are
now made in a very timely fashion compared to applications to the
court with notice or even abridged notice.
2. Parenting coordinators develop an understanding of the dynamics
of the families with which they work and have, over time, some
of the relevant history that abridges the time required to make
3. A negotiated settlement is attempted in every dispute that comes
before a parenting coordinator so there is not a choice required to be
made by parents about whether to litigate or negotiate each issue. If
it cannot be settled then the determination can quickly be made and
time is not wasted. The parties know that they have been unable to
resolve the issue between themselves.
4. Justice delayed is justice denied. How often have we seen requests
for vacations with children simply abandoned when one party will
not cooperate and the cost of going to court is too high or there simply
is not enough time to have the court get involved. Those kinds
of disputes are almost always resolved in a timely fashion by parenting
coordinators without the kind of expense involved in a court
5. Points such as #4 lead to a less tangible benefit of parenting coordinator
work and rest in being able to provide some empowerment
to overcome financial power imbalances or control by a parent having
primary day-to-day care. It is not possible to overestimate the
longer-term emotional benefits to parents who know they can
access a parenting coordinator in a timely fashion to resolve parenting
6. The more effectively parenting coordinators can be engaged by parents,
the more salutary will be the impact on the healthy development
of children in these high-conflict parenting situations. That is
because if the parents are feeling there are avenues for expeditious
resolution of day-to-day issues, there is going to be less of the historical
blaming of the other parent for missed opportunities, whatever