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About the parenting coordination programme

The parenting coordination programme (PCP) is a family support programme that tries to address or resolve any disagreement about any parenting matter between spouses or former spouses.

A parenting matter refers to any matter relating to any of the following:

  • The custody or care and control of a child.
  • The right of access to a child
  • The welfare of a child.

Under the PCP, a parenting coordinator may be appointed by the court:

  • Following the making of a court order on parenting matters.
  • When one party files a summons application for such an appointment via eLitigation.

If parties have a preference for and can agree on a specific parenting coordinator, they may nominate the person, subject to court's approval.

The nominated parenting coordinator must be a neutral party to the existing proceedings. This means they must not have acted as a lawyer for either party during the proceedings, have been appointed as a child representative in the case, or is conflicted in any way.

Cases that apply

The court may make an order for the PCP in the following cases:

Note
The PCP does not apply to cases where the parties involved in the proceedings are not married to each other or if one party is a family member other than the spouse or former spouse.

When an order for the PCP is made

The court will make an order for the PCP if all the following conditions are met:

  • The participation by the parties in the PCP is in the best interest of a child.
  • The parties will benefit from the parenting coordinator's assistance.
  • Either or both parties are financially able to afford the parenting coordinator fees.

The order for PCP will state:

  • The period of the PCP or the term of the parenting coordinator.
    • The parenting coordinator's term ends after the period specified in the order.
    • The period of the PCP may be extended by the court or at a request of a party or the parenting coordinator.
  • The frequency of sessions or the total number of hours the parties have to attend with the parenting coordinator.
  • The parenting coordinator's hourly fees.
  • The proportion of the parenting coordinator's fees each party needs to pay.

The role of the parenting coordinator

Depending on the nature of the case, the parenting coordinator resolves the disagreement parties have on specific parenting matters.

The court may also request the parenting coordinator to provide a report if the parties file an application relating to a parenting matter and the court sees a need for a report to determine the application.

This report is confidential and available only to the court. It will not be shared with either party or their lawyers (if any).

The court will inform the parenting coordinator if a report is required within 12 months from the conclusion of the PCP, and prescribe the areas to be addressed in the report.

If parties reach an agreement

A parenting coordinator cannot vary (change) court orders. If both parties can reach an agreement on the issues in dispute with the help of the parenting coordinator, either party can choose to prepare a draft consent order.

This can be done by filing the following documents via eLitigation:

  • A summons with the consent of the other party.
  • An affidavit in support of the application.
    • The affidavit should explain the parties' reasons for varying the order.

Find out how to prepare an affidavit.

Estimated fees

The fees for a court-appointed parenting coordinator ranges from $250 per hour to $400 per hour. The court will take into account the financial ability of each parent before determining the exact fee and the proportion each parent should bear.

Early termination from the parenting coordination programme

If parties or the parenting coordinator wishes to terminate the PCP early, they will have to file a summons application together with a supporting affidavit stating the reasons for the early termination (good cause).

The party who filed the application will then have to serve the documents on all parties within 3 working days from the date of filing the application.

Resources

Legislation associated with this topic includes Order 34A to 34G of the Family Justice Rules.


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