Professional Background for Parent Coordination Services
A Parent Coordinator helps joint custodial parents make collaborative parenting decisions in the best interests of a child, often in the context of a high-conflict divorce, and frequently by order of a divorce or family court.
- Function of a Parent Coordinator: A Parent Coordinator usually serves by agreement of both former spouses. Parent Coordinators provide a valuable service for parents who are unable to negotiate decisions jointly, in a collaborative manner in the child’s best interest, without a third party’s ongoing intervention. A Parent Coordinator seeks to help parents avoid further litigation.
- Multiple Professional Skills in Use: In providing Parent Coordination services to divorced or divorcing couples struggling with parenting issues, Edward Honnold, J.D., LICSW, draws on many aspects of his unique and multi-disciplinary professional background as a lawyer, psychotherapist, couples counselor, and mediator. He has worked closely for several years with other Parent Coordinators.
- Family Mediation Training: After graduating from Yale Law School (1978) and while practicing law in a major Washington, D.C., law firm, Edward Honnold trained extensively more than 30 years ago as a family (divorce) mediator with James Coogler, founder of the Academy for Family Mediation. Ed makes effective use of his mediation skills in Parent Coordination.
- Negotiating with Lawyers and Avoiding Litigation: As a lawyer himself, with 14 years of experience practicing law, Ed Honnold negotiates skillfully with other lawyers representing divorced or divorcing parents. He has an acute awareness of the inefficiency and both the financial and emotional losses involved in litigation of custodial and parental disputes.
- Counseling Couples in Distress: As a couples and family counselor, Edward Honnold has worked for almost 20 years with many couples attempting to forestall divorce, or negotiating the early stages of an inevitable divorce, taking into account the needs of their children.
- Training in Family Systems and Child Development: Edward Honnold has received extensive post-graduate training and experience in family systems, early childhood, latency age, teenage, and early adulthood development.
- Highly Developed Sensitivity: Edward Honnold has an acute sensitivity to the stresses and difficulties of parents struggling with joint decisionmaking under joint custodial arrangements, especially in a high-conflict divorce. He uses his exceptional interpersonal and communication skills to help parents feel as safe as possible in emotionally charged circumstances, and to help them achieve practical, workable decisions as joint parents for their children.
- A Tested Approach: As Parent Coordinator, Ed Honnold works in a collaborative manner with parents and third parties, such as counselors, teachers, coaches, and the parties’ lawyers. With the parents’ consent, he will meet regularly with the child, to give the child a voice in the decisions being made on the child’s behalf, and (with the parents’ initial express consent) will exercise tie-break authority to resolve differences between the parents and reach closure on issues that could cause harm or generate ongoing conflict.
- Commitment to Collaborative Divorce: The fast-developing field of Collaborative Divorce, including Parent Coordination (where needed), provides an effective alternative to costly and divisive litigation. As a family counselor, mediator and lawyer, Edward Honnold, J.D., LICSW, is committed to advancing the use of Collaborative Divorce processes to minimize conflict and to help parents and children feel safe and supported in post-divorce, binuclear families.