Parenting Coordinators & Special Masters

Parent Q&A

Select any title to view the full question and replies.

  • Parenting Coordinators

    (1 reply)

     I am needing to choose from a list of Parenting Coordinators given by a court commissioner.  Our three choices are Dr. Janella Street (, Dr. Michael Donner, and Stuart Lord (   Has anyone had any experience with any of these Coordinators?  Also, in case these are somehow not available I would love any recommendations for someone who uses a more mindful approach to parenting, sincerely puts the children first and tries to slowly build trust and teach healthy communication with the parents. Honest reviews very welcome, feel free to DM.   Thank you so much.  

    I don't know these three, but I'm currently working with a recommending mediator, which is one step down from a parenting coordinator in authority. It's been a learning curve, and I realized that I was very naive and idealistic going into this process. I would caution you to temper your expectations about what a parenting coordinator or co-parenting counselor can accomplish. Unless both parents are willing to look critically at themselves, take responsibility for their own role in a dynamic, and compromise, it just becomes an expensive way to engage in the same old power struggle. In the worst cases, the parenting coordinator becomes partial to one parent. Implicit bias is real. At least, that's my experience and the experience of other single parents I know.  Best of luck to you.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Need a special master or parent coordinator

August 2006

I am in need of recommendation for a special master (or I have heard them also referred to as parent coordinators). My childrens' father and I are not in agreement as far as how to raise our kids, and we need a coach/referee, as well as someone to help us mediate decisions, custody schedules, and help us follow our child care arrangements. Ideally this person would also help us plan out our schedules and keep us both accountable to the plans we have made together. They would also help us settle disbutes when we can not do so ourselves (most of the time). I am hoping to find someone who will prioritize the childrens' needs in all of the decisions and plans. Thank you for any advice on finding this person!
frustrated parent

A clinical pyschologist colleague is very successful with families who are looking for this type of support. He has mediation experience, works with the Kids' Turn organization, and runs a counseling practice focused on helping people be the best parents they can be in the stressful circumstances of co-parenting.
Chandler Hoffman, PsyD 1736 Franklin Street, Ste. 350 Oakland, CA 94621 (510) 847-7917 chandlerhoffman[at]

Dr. Christine Pigeon is an incredible mediator with a gift for focusing parents on solving problems inherent in custody situations without putting the child in the middle. anon