Parenting Consultant Functions

A Parenting Consultant has essentially three functions—mediation, coaching, and arbitration regarding parenting issues. The Parenting Consulting process begins by meeting with both parties together. That meeting is administrative in nature and serves to:


Parents are in the best position to make decisions about their children and will be assisted in doing so whenever possible. The Parenting Consultant facilitates an environment where parents can make those decisions together and makes recommendations or decisions when parents are unable to agree.

Even though the Parenting Consultant will facilitate negotiations, there is not the same confidentiality of information as that provided through mediation. All communications with the parents (and others the Parenting Consultant has contacted) are subject to disclosure among parties. Statements made to the Parenting Consultant by the attorneys and parents may lose the protection of the attorney-client privilege. A Parenting Consultant is a neutral party and therefore does not take cases in which there is any conflict of interest or bias toward either parent. However, it is part of a Parenting Consultant’s job to develop opinions about what best meets the needs of children and to advocate for their best interests


Parents will have an introductory session with the Parenting Consultant before contracting for services. This introductory session is billed at the regular hourly rate, and allows the parents to meet the Parenting Consultant and to ask any questions they may have about the process. The session is also an opportunity for parents to share any background information they feel is relevant for the Parenting Consultant’s understanding of the situation.

Once the parents and Parenting Consultant agree to work together, the process begins with the signing of the Parenting Consultant Fee Agreement. The parties make an initial deposit, which will cover the first 10 hours of work together (excluding office visits, which are paid at the time of the appointment). The initial deposit, the signed contract, and a copy of the Court Order appointing a Parenting Consultant must be received prior to scheduling or holding any additional appointments.


Meetings take place in the Parenting Consultant's office. Sometimes it is possible to proceed by phone, e-mail, or with written correspondence. If either parent is uncomfortable with a joint meeting, this may be discussed with the Parenting Consultant before the appointment. Subsequent meetings may be conducted with:

  • Both parents together
  • Each parent alone
  • Each parent and the children
  • New spouses or significant others
  • The children (together or separately, when necessary)



Although parents set specific goals and objectives, it is the hope of the Parenting Consultant that a number of things occur as a result of the process:

  • Agreements are reached on the issues presented
  • In the absence of agreement, that decisions will be made that will bring closure to the issues
  • That communication about the children improves
  • That parents learn to resolve their own conflicts without outside assistance whenever possible
  • That things settle into somewhat predictable patterns and routines so that children are able to be as comfortable as possible
  • Above all, that the children eventually experience peaceful, loving home environments that contribute to their healthy development and overall well-being