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Co-Parenting Coordinator Agreements - What They Can Do and How to Draft Them

Photo by Marcelo Silva on Unsplash
Conflict between parents negatively affects children but for some parents it's hard to avoid conflict when separating or divorcing.  Loss, grief, and anger all make it difficult to co-parent and some parents need help overcoming those barriers. One of the professionals that can help parents reduce conflict by assisting them in making the necessary co-parenting decisions is a Co-Parenting Coordinator.  The duties of a Co-Parenting Coordinator can vary but often include assisting parents with decision making around:

  • changes or clarifications of the existing parenting plan;
  • exchanges of the child or children including date, time, place, means of and responsibilities for transportation;
  • education or daycare including school choice, tutoring, summer school, before and after school care, participation in special education testing and programs, or other educational decisions;
  • enrichment and extracurricular activities including camps and jobs;
  • the child or children's travel and passport arrangements;
  • clothing, equipment, and personal possessions of the child or children;
  • means of communication by a parent with the child or children when they are not in that parent's care;
  • role of and contact with significant others and extended families;
  • psychotherapy or other mental health care including substance abuse or mental health assessment or counseling for the child or children;
  • psychological testing or other assessments of the children; and
  • religious observances and education.
In addition, sometimes Co-Parenting Coordinators are granted quasi-judicial powers to make binding decisions when parents disagree, subject to review by the court.

In Massachusetts, if parties have agreed to the appointment of a Co-Parenting Coordinator, they should review Probate and Family Court Standing Order 1-17.  For an agreement to use a Co-Parenting Coordinator be enforceable by the court in Massachusetts it must be signed in writing by the parties and the Co-Parenting Coordinator, and in compliance with the Standing Order.  We suggest filing such an agreement as a separate addendum and have created a template for parenting coordinator appointment available here, which follows the Standing Order requirements.

Because the Agreement to use the Co-Parenting Coordinator is also signed by the Co-Parenting Coordinator as well it shouldn't be included in the same document as the rest of a parenting or divorce agreement.  Following is sample language that can be used in a parenting agreement to reference the separate addendum:

PARENTING COORDINATOR ADDENDUM: _________ and _________ agree to the appointment of a Parenting Coordinator as defined in Probate and Family Court Standing Order 1-17 and they intend to file with this Agreement an Addendum outlining the terms of the Parenting Coordinator’s appointment, the terms of which are incorporated herein.

Gray Jay Endeavors, LLC provides Separation Agreement Templates and Massachusetts divorce forms as a resource for professionals and divorcing couples.  If you are a professional who wants to learn more about our forms subscriptions visit  




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