Parenting Coordination and Confidentiality: A (Not-so) Delicate Balance

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This article describes the current state and range of information protection in the growing number of states and Canadian provinces that employ parenting coordination in an effort to reduce repeat custody litigation. The predominant approach—in which what is revealed during the process is not confidential—is analyzed in terms of its compatibility with the parenting coordinator's multiple tasks of educating parents, seeking to facilitate agreements, and, if necessary, providing the court with a report, a recommended decision, or an arbitrated result. Using a case scenario with multiple parts, the article then examines such confidentiality schemes in practice by providing an action-oriented series of questions that illustrate how much of this topic must be resolved through a parenting coordinator's exercise of discretion in the absence of rule clarity. The article then raises a number of policy questions about whether current parenting coordination confidentiality norms strike the optimal or even the correct balance on information protection and concludes by identifying several policy options that might address these questions.


Arbitration, Confidentiality, Coparenting, Facilitation, Internal/External/Liminal, Mediation, Parenting Coordination, Parenting Plan

Publication Title

Family Court Review