A Parenting Consultant (PC) helps parents resolve parenting-related disputes. The authority of a PC is typically much broader than that of a PTE, and can include, in addition to parenting time issues, such things as school selection, extra-curricular activities and medical issues. The PC may also work with the parents to improve their communication and co-parenting skills. The PC does not provide legal advice.
Parenting Consultants may only be appointed by agreement of the parties and the role is not governed by statute. Specific authority for a PC varies by case and is always set out in the Order Appointing Parenting Consultant.
The process begins with the PC working with the parents to try to resolve the disputed issues. If the parents are unable to reach an agreement on a disputed issue then the PC makes the decision, which is binding on both parties unless and until the decision is modified by a Court Order.
Parenting consulting is not a confidential process — unlike mediation, Moderated Settlement Conference, or PTE. The PC may be called as a witness by either party and may be required to provide information to the Court if a decision is challenged by one or both parties.