By the adoption of Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1915.11-1 on April 23, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court eliminated parenting coordination in Pennsylvania effective May 23, 2013. Parenting Coordination involved the appointment of a neutral third party, either an attorney or mental health professional, who would resolve the disputes of high-conflict parents involved in child custody matters. Clearly, parenting coordination was an attempt to eliminate a family's frequent contact with the courts.
Parenting coordination was successful in educating parents about the effects of their behavior upon their children and reducing parental conflict through communication and conflict resolution techniques. A parenting coordinator would help create detailed plans for both parents for decision making, discipline and communication. It was an effective method of monitoring parental behavior and to ensure that parents were fulfilling their court ordered obligations as well as their obligations to their minor children.
Apparently, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was of the belief that parenting coordination was the improper delegation of judicial decision making. The new rule clearly states that "only judges may make decisions in child custody cases." The new rule eliminates an excellent tool that was effective in assisting families in their daily custody challenges. Once again, the courts will see increased filings to address minor issues that likely could have been resolved without incurring legal fees and utilizing the resources of the court. In addition, these minor issues will often be left unresolved and possibly lead to larger custodial issues which will then have a negative impact on the overall well-being of the family.