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(a) is binding on the parties, effective on the date the determination
is made or on a later date specified by the parenting coordinator,
(b) if filed in the court, is enforceable under this Act as if it were an
order of the court.
In Law v. Cheng,20 the B.C. Supreme Court stated with regard to parenting
As with arbitrators, the FLA and its regulations establish the professional
qualifications and experience necessary for parenting coordinators. For
practical purposes, the effect of a determination by a parenting coordinator
is similar to that of an arbitrator’s decision, albeit one arising from a
more informal process in which the parenting coordinator first tries to
facilitate an agreement between the parties. In my view, a determination
by a parenting coordinator should be accorded the same deference as
an arbitration award and subject to review on the same standard of
And Madam Justice Saunders opined in Hicks v. Schuler:22
It appears from the legislation that parenting coordinators were intended
to have substantial decision-making authority and s. 19 sets criteria for
court termination of the parenting coordination if satisfied that the parenting
coordinator acted outside his or her authority or made an error of
law or of mixed fact and law. It appears that there is some similarity
between the role of parenting coordinators and that of arbitrators.
Yet there are some notable differences between parenting coordinators
and arbitrators. In Vogt v. Scott,23 the client of a parenting coordinator sought
to have his invoice for services reviewed by the registrar pursuant to the
Legal Profession Act.24 Mr. Scott was a lawyer but his services were rendered
as a parenting coordinator, a distinction that was instrumental in the registrar’s
finding that she had no jurisdiction to review the bill. The registrar
pointed out that s. 26 of the Arbitration Act provides that a registrar of the
court may review an invoice issued by a family law arbitrator, but there is
no similar provision for parenting coordinators.
VARIATION OF AN ARBITRATION AWARD
In Steward v. Ferguson,25 the B.C. Court of Appeal was asked to set aside the
order of a judge sitting in chambers who had varied the provisions of an
award respecting child support arising from an arbitration hearing.
The arbitration award, based on a “last best offer” process, posited that
the parties required finality and certainty and therefore the child support
award would be fixed and unalterable regardless of where the children may
reside, and financial disclosure would also no longer be required. In addition,
the award stipulated that support would not be paid if a child no longer
resided with a parent.