William G. Austin, Ph.D., Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Evergreen, Colorado
Raleigh, North Carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina
Email: wgaustinphd2@yahoo.com

Forensic Psychological and Co-Parenting Educational Services Offered by

William G. Austin, Ph.D., Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Austin Child Custody Services
(970) 846-1157 voice mail
(303) 217-8990 fax


Services Available in Colorado and North Carolina Locations
Lakewood and Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Cary and Wilmington, North Carolina

Parental Co-Parenting Education and Coaching for Relocation

and Long Distance Parenting

  • Putting the Child First when there has been Relocation
  • Understanding Dynamics & Pragmatics of Long Distance Parenting
  • Applying Parental Gatekeeping Model
  • Growing into being a Facilitative Gatekeeper-Parent
  • Applying Relocation Risk Assessment Model
  • Managing the Risk to Child with Relocation
  • Managing the Risk to Child with Long Distance Parenting
  • Sustaining Quality in the Child-Distant Parent Relationship
  • Performance Enhancement in Co-Parenting from a distance
  • Addressing Emotional Angst & Parent Conflict with Relocation
  • Practical Problem Solving

Dr. Austin has presented over 20 professional workshops on relocation and child custody disputes. He has developed the relocation risk assessment forensic evaluation model for parenting evaluators and courts that is widely used across the country. He has a dozen publications on child custody, relocation, and crafting long distance parenting plans.

Dr. Austin and colleagues have developed the Parental Gatekeeping framework and forensic evaluation model for use in all parenting – child custody disputes. Dr. Austin has presented 7 professional workshops on gatekeeping and co-parenting in the context of separated and divorced parents. The model is available in numerous publications.

The nonmoving parent is always concerned about Restrictive Gatekeeping and a diminished quality in the future relationship with the child. Gatekeeping is the central issue in all relocation disputes.

Dr. Austin now is providing the forensic service of co-parenting education and coaching for parents when there has occurred relocation and a long distance parenting plan is needed, or when relocation is going to occur following a custody dispute. The service may also be helpful when a nonresidential parent is going to move away from the child due to life changes.

The approach combines the research-based models for relocation and gatekeeping to the task of co-parenting education to assist parents and children to make their long distance plan work for the best interests of the children despite the conflict that may exist because of relocation.

Dr. Austin’s professional publications on gatekeeping are available on this website. The relocation publications are available on the evaluation and trial consultation website: www.child-custody-services.com

Relocation cases almost always engender conflict between the parents. The nonmoving is often expresses moral outrage that the other parent is “taking the child away” and may assert that the other parent is trying to “alienate” the child. The nonmoving parent inevitably will emphasize that relocation and resulting long distance will gravely harm his or her relationship with the child or children, especially if the children are very young.

Long distance parenting creates enormous challenges for co-parenting. Conflict often persists. Distrust may have replaced a good working co-parenting relationship the existing before relocation became an issue. There may be huge practical impediments to arranging for contact between the nonmoving parent and child. It may be an interstate situation, or even international. If the child is very young, then telephone contact may not be realistic. Travel cost and time for travel may make it difficult for there to be frequent physical contact. Regular Skype contact can be very helpful. Extended parenting time in the summer can be helpful. Financial and time constraints often loom large over the relocation issue.

The parents may be not far removed from a “relocation trial” and so emotions and conflict may be running high. They often will not be able to participate in the co-parenting sessions together. If they can, the fees can be split and be lower.

This service is available and probably should be viewed as necessary whenever a Court approves relocation of a child with the moving parent. The goals are to facilitate the parents in developing a workable co-parenting relationship via education about long distance parenting, coaching on how to manage conflict, and to promote involvement by both parents with the child when there will be a long distance parenting plan. Parenting evaluators are encouraged to recommend the service when they are recommending in favor of relocation in a parenting dispute. Courts are encouraged to order this service of co-parenting education and “gatekeeper training” to help facilitate effective long distance parenting.

Dr. Austin uses his relocation risk assessment model to educate parents about how to manage the risk of harm to the non-moving parent-child relationship.

Dr. Austin also uses his parental gatekeeping framework to help educate parents about long distance parenting and to work out practical solutions to co-parenting issues.

Gatekeeping is exceptionally important in long distance parenting. It cannot be over-emphasized how difficult it is for a parent to accept that his or her child is relocating and for the parent and child to adjust to the extended separation. This is why relocation produces so much angst and conflict.

Parents are educated about Facilitative Gatekeeping (FG) and Restrictive Gatekeeping (RG) and as part of the co-parent coaching.

Parents learn to identify gate-opening and gate-closing behaviors.

Dr. Austin’s approach to co-parenting/gatekeeping education also adopts a “performance enhancement” approach that attempts to foster a mindset that parents will strive to enhance their performance in their parenting and co-parenting roles for the best interests of their children. Successful co-parents are facilitative gatekeepers unless there are issues of risk of harm to the child and/or parent such as when there has been a history of significant intimate partner violence. Children do much better when their parents engage in cooperative co-parenting. Facilitative gatekeepers are effective “peacekeepers.”  All of this rings truer when there is relocation and long distance parenting.

Service Intended for:

Parents following Relocation custody trial and relocation is ordered by the court

Parents who have agreed to relocation and a long distance parenting plan 

When a nonresidential parent is relocating away from the child and the residential parent 

When a parent wishes to relocate with a child and before the parents proceed with litigation and/or a Parental Responsibility Evaluation (PRE)

The Service:          

Hour 1: Understanding the Family, Nature of the Relocation, Issues & Anticipated Problems

Hour 2: Co-Parenting Education on Relocation, Gatekeeping and Cooperative Co-Parenting, and Children’s

Adjustment. How to choose gate-opening behaviors and avoid gate-closing behaviors.

Hour 3: Discussion of how the long distance parenting plan will be implemented; expected challenges and issues; how to communicate effectively and build trust; and practical problem solving in the context of logistical challenges due to long distance.

Time & Fees:

3 hours per parent

Parents can request additional time for coaching

$300 per hour if parents are seen alone

$400 per hour if parents are seen jointly

Both parents must agree on joint sessions.

Prepayment is required to commence services. Payments are nonrefundable.

Parents can request lower fees due to financial limitations


If the service is court-ordered, a report to summarize the service and parents’ response will be provided to court, attorneys, and parents. There will be an additional charge of one hour for the report.

Getting Started:

Go to Forms and Fees webpage and download Parent Information Form. Complete Form and e-mail or fax it to Dr. Austin.

Pay the Required Fees by using our secure online payment form and make payment by completing the required information or by printing a billing form and faxing or emailing to Dr. Austin.

Initiate the process of making an appointment either by calling Dr. Austin or e-mailing

From gatekeeping webpage: download Gatekeeping Bench Book and FG & RG Examples

You may want to download any of the relocation publications from the evaluation and trial consultation website:

(303) 670.6767 voice
(970) 846.1157 (cell)
(303) 217.8990 fax

  Services Available in Colorado and North Carolina Locations
Evergreen, Colorado
Cary and Wilmington, North Carolina