THE ADVOCATE 351
VOL. 79 PART 3 MAY 2021
LIMITATIONS ON THE PARENTING COORDINATOR’S ROLE
The parenting coordinator’s role is limited to helping the parties to follow
those parts of their court order or separation agreement that are about parenting.
Section 18(1) of the Act provides that a parenting coordinator:
(a) may make determinations respecting prescribed matters only,
subject to any limits or conditions set out in the regulations,
(b) must not make a determination respecting any matter excluded by
the parenting coordination agreement or order, even if the matter
is a prescribed matter, and
(c) must not make a determination that would affect the division or
possession of property, or the division of family debt.
It follows that parenting coordinators do not have the authority to:
• affect the division of family property or debts or the possession of
• change guardianship or legal or physical custody from one parent
to the other;
• change the primary residence of a child;
• make decisions on parenting schedules, child support or mobility;
• provide legal advice;
• substantially change a parenting plan; or
• significantly modify parenting or contact time with a child.
These issues are typically decided by agreement or the court prior to parties
involving a parenting coordinator.
INITIATING THE PARENTING COORDINATION PROCESS
Typically, the process is voluntary, meaning that if the parents do not agree
to participate, it does not occur. However, the courts in British Columbia
also have the jurisdiction to order the process in appropriate circumstances.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A PARENT REFUSES TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROCESS
AFTER OPTING IN?
If a party refuses to participate after opting into the process, the parenting
coordinator may proceed in the absence of the parent or withdraw from the
DO THE PARTIES REQUIRE LAWYERS?
Parties to a parenting coordination are not obligated to retain counsel. How-