When parents separate one of the most difficult issues to resolve is how to share parenting time and parenting responsibilities for their children.
Not only do parents have to come up with a schedule which sets out where the children will be each week but they also have to take into consideration statutory holidays, pro-d days, birthdays of both the children and the parents and mother’s day and father’s day. Once schedules are determined they have to consider how changes to the schedules will be accommodated and these changes can often lead to conflict.
Some of the issues which frequently arise are:
- Can the children travel with either parent outside of the city, the province or even the country?
- Will the children have contact with the other parent while travelling and how often will that contact be?
- Will schedules change over the summer holidays?
In addition to scheduling there are several decisions regarding the children which must be discussed and agreed upon.
- Which school will the children attend?
- Which religion, if any, will the children be exposed to?
- Will tutors be hired?
- Which activities will the children attend outside of school and who will attend and pay for these activities?
Some parents are able to communicate well regarding these decisions and reach agreement easily but others find it extremely difficult. For these parents a parenting coordinator may be the answer. Parenting coordinators are expensive because they charge an hourly rate but they can be given the authority to make decisions on minor scheduling and parenting decisions if the parents are unable to agree. A good parenting coordinator will also try to teach the parents how to communicate more effectively. If the alternative is retaining two lawyers every time there is a dispute, using a parenting coordinator may be a cheaper and more effective approach.