Colorado Parenting Coordinator

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If you are in the thick of a child custody case, you are likely overwhelmed and tired. There are so many decisions to make, so many hardships to handle, and intense emotions involved every step of the way. It can be difficult to juggle everything at once. This is where a Colorado Parenting Coordinator comes in.

Decisions regarding your children are some of the most important you will ever make. It can be helpful to know that you don’t have to make these decisions alone. Even in the midst of a disrupted family and support system dynamic, there are others who can lend a helping hand. With an experienced Denver PCDM, you can get through this difficult time while continuing to make good decisions for your children.

Best Colorado Parenting Coordinator

Woody Law Firm, LLC: Experience in Parenting Coordinator Positions

At Woody Law Firm, LLC, we have handled countless cases involving child custody. Families are our highest priority, and we always set out to work in the interest of the children involved. Our focus as a firm is strictly set on family law, which helps to ensure that we stay up to date on all things relating to cases involving divorce, child custody, and other family matters.

Role of a Parenting Coordinator

The primary responsibility of a Parenting Coordinator is to be and remain neutral throughout the entire process. Because they are meant to work in the best interest of the children who are involved, they must not be swayed by favoritism of either disputing party.

Parenting Coordinators are tasked with finding potential decisions when parents cannot come to an agreement. Think of them as a type of referee, although they do not make any concrete, binding decisions. They become well acquainted with the case so that they are able to offer informed advice.

While a Parenting Coordinator offers their own thoughts and solutions, they also can be a vital component in ensuring that each parent has an opportunity for their voice to be heard. PCs are skilled in the areas of communication and peace-making and are there to equip the parents to make effective decisions.

Appointing a Parenting Coordinator

There is more than one way that a Parenting Coordinator may be appointed. If you, as the parent, think that a PC could be a helpful resource, you are able to appoint one yourself if the other parent agrees. The first step would be finding someone who has the skills and experience to fill this position.

The stipulations for Parenting Coordinators are left vague on purpose. The only requirements are that they have training and experience with mediation, children, and some knowledge of the court and legal systems. The vagueness helps ensure that families are able to receive the assistance that is right for their case.

If you’d like to appoint a Parenting Coordinator without the support and consent of the other parent, you will need the support of the court. The court can appoint a PC if they have substantial evidence pointing to the failure of you and the other parent being able to reach decisions on your own and if prior attempts at mediation have also failed.

How Can a Parenting Coordinator Help Me?

A Parenting Coordinator can provide assistance to parents in a plethora of ways. Most of their mediation happens within the parent planning process. Some of the broad ways in which they may help include:

  • Helping them to reach a point of settlement in their case.
  • Helping communication between parties to be clear and concise.
  • Creating and offering alternative solutions to what has already been proposed.
  • Bring to attention potential points of conflict that may arise in the future and help form a plan to prevent such conflicts from arising.

Specific examples of how a Parenting Coordinator may assist with a case include decisions regarding the following:

  • What school a child/children will attend
  • Providing for clothing and other physical needs of a child
  • Providing educational equipment and materials
  • Celebrations of holidays and birthdays
  • Vacation and travel dates and times
  • Discipline and behavior management
  • Events involving third parties such as grandparents, in-laws, and others
  • Health and well-being-related issues such as doctor visits, dentist visits, etc.

A Parenting Coordinator also may be called as a witness to testify in court.

Levels of Conflict

Each family is unique and has different hardships to tackle. Parenting Coordinators exist to help families who have high levels of conflict because they may feel stuck trying to reach an agreement. PCs classify conflict according to three levels, with Level I being the least amount of conflict and Level III being the highest. PCs are trained according to each of these levels and can implement knowledge and strategies that are specific to each level.

Duration of Assistance from a Parenting Coordinator

Some cases can take up to a year or more to reach a final decision and closure. When it comes to your appointed Parenting Coordinator, there is flexibility with how long they are able to be of assistance to you. Technically, a PC may fulfill parenting coordination duties for up to two years from their appointment. However, if issues arise or progress is not made, they may be let go earlier. This decision may be made by parents or the court.

Parenting Coordinator vs. Decision Maker

The main difference between a Parenting Coordinator and a Decision Maker is the authority they hold. Whereas a Parenting Coordinator is only able to offer suggestions relating to the case, a Decision Maker actually has the authority to make decisions that the parents must abide by.

Decision Makers are often appointed by the court when parents have reached a point where working out a solution no longer seems achievable. Typically, both parents must consent to including a Decision Maker before they are appointed by the court.

There are cases in which there may be two separate people to fill the roles of Parenting Coordinator and Decision Maker. However, they are often the same person. The goal of a Decision Maker is to make decisions in reference to already existing plans that have been made by the parents. An example of this would be clarifying drop-off and pick-up times, exact dates for visits, and others.

Questions to Ask Your Parenting Coordinator

When it comes to making decisions regarding the future of your family, you cannot be too careful or thorough. Ask as many questions as you need in order to fully understand what is happening in the case. Some common questions that Parenting Coordinators are often asked include:

  • Which parent is responsible for decisions concerning school, including education, extracurricular activities, and sports?
  • What religious affiliation or belief system will the child participate in or be encouraged to participate in?
  • Do both parents need to have given consent before medical care is administered?
  • Who covers costs such as medical, educational, leisure/travel?
  • Are there any disciplinary actions that are not allowed?


In Colorado, a parenting coordinator can be appointed by the court without both parents having agreed to their appointment. This is typically only for cases in which there is intense hostility involved. However, a Parenting Coordinator does not make any binding decisions that the parents must follow without consent.

In addition, Parenting Coordinators do not create any rules that the parents must abide by; they simply clarify or edit existing rules that the parents have set up. For example, a PC would not create a rule saying parents need each other’s consent before traveling out of state with their children. However, they may be able to propose solutions to parents arguing over how long each is able to take their children away for vacation each year.

What Is the Difference Between PCs, DMs, and Other Mediators?

In a court case where children are involved, and important decisions are being made about their future, there are various types of mediation roles that may be filled. These include but are not limited to:

  • Guardian ad Litem: A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) acts as the eyes and ears of the court in the lives of children involved in child custody cases. GALs can make home visits to children and help investigate case-specific issues such as custody, parental duties, etc. The main focus of the GAL is to learn and hear the interests and desires of the child and then advocate for them in the presence of the court.
  • Child Representative: A Child Representative is an attorney who is designated specifically to the child or children. Child Representatives cannot be called on to testify in court.

Parenting Coordinators and Decision Makers are more hands-on mediators who are allowed and encouraged to meet with parents and children as necessary or needed. While they do not necessarily offer legal advice, they help to nurture a peaceful environment through problem-solving and communication.

Co-Parent Therapy

In addition to mediation, there are additional resources that a Parenting Coordinator may point you to. One of these is co-parent therapy. In this type of therapy, parents learn skills that will help them transition to a different parenting style once they are legally separated. The most essential goal of co-parent therapy is to teach parents how to communicate in a way that is in the best interest of their children.

Parenting Plans

A parenting plan is a written explanation of what both parties expect and hope to agree to in regard to how they will raise their children. Parents can either submit these to the court independently or together, but doing so independently can leave more in the hands of the court than you may want to. A Parenting Coordinator, who may be able to relate to you and your family on a more personal level than the court, can help you and the other parent work out a parenting plan.

Parenting plans include specifications in regard to decision-making responsibilities, custody time, and a plan for how future conflicts are to be dealt with.


Q: How Much Does a Parenting Coordinator Decision Maker Cost in Colorado?

A: The cost of a PCDM in Colorado varies based on how long they are needed and their experience. Most PCDMs are paid by the hour, and the hourly rate can range anywhere from $150 to $400 per hour. Typically, a PCDM is paid by the two parties, who split the cost.

Q: Is There a Downside to a Parenting Coordinator?

A: Some would consider the added cost of a Parenting Coordinator to be a downside, but no monetary value can truly be placed on investing in your children’s future. The court tries to eradicate any potential bias (such as for the mother over the father of a child) before appointing a PC, although it should be remembered that PCs are human, too.

Q: What Is a Parenting Coordinator?

A: A parenting coordinator decision maker (PCDM) is an impartial third party who helps parents who are at odds with one another find solutions concerning responsibility issues. They are often called in for cases that involve intense conflict. The court is given the ability to choose a parenting coordinator whom they see fit for each case. Parents are also able to appoint parenting coordinators when and where they find it to be helpful and appropriate.

Q: Why Do You Need a Parenting Coordinator?

A: Going to court to resolve personal issues involving your family can be overwhelming and exhausting. Having a third party, such as a Parenting Coordinator, to work alongside you, hear your story, your desires, and your hopes for your children can be an enormous help. Because they are personally removed from the situation, they are sometimes able to find solutions that were previously unthought of. Beyond supporting you, a Parenting Coordinator can help you find working solutions.

Contact Woody Law Firm, LLC

Our firm is dedicated to serving families in the Denver area. We want to help you find solutions that are beneficial to everyone involved while supporting your children through the process. Peace can be the end result, and we want to help you make that happen.

Contact our office today to learn more about how we can be of assistance.

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