Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What is a Parenting Coordinator and when should one be appointed?

     A Parenting Coordinator is a person that is appointed by the judge in family law matters with children to assist Parents when they are unable to agree on day to day decisions. These decisions included but are not limited to:

     •      Where the child or children will attend school;
     •       What after school activities the children will participate in;
     •       Disciplining the children;
     •       Exchanging the children for parenting time;
     •       Making medical decisions regarding the children.

     The Parenting Coordinator can help the parties reach agreements on the above issues and if agreement is not reached a report is prepared by the parenting Coordinator with recommendations for the courts review.  The court will either agree with the recommendations or schedule a hearing to address the issues. The Parents may file an objection to the recommendations after the court has made its decisions.  If it is a time sensitive issue the Parenting Coordinator can make a temporary binding decision, especially if there is a safety issue. The Parenting Coordinator may also obtain information from any person who has information that will assist the Parenting Coordinator in making a decision.

     Parents can request that a Parenting Coordinator be appointed to their case from the mental health roster if they foresee that disagreements may arise between themselves. The court may also appoint a Parenting Coordinator when the Judge observes the following situations:
    •    The parents consistently disagree and file multiple petitions regarding parenting time and legal decision (custody) issues;
    •     There has been or is drug abuse by one or both parents;
    •     Either of the parents has a mental health issue;
    •     If the child has special needs.

     When deciding if you need a Parenting Coordinator it is important that you consult with an experienced family law attorney in your area to discuss the pros and cons of requesting a parenting Coordinator in your case and whom to select as your Parenting Coordinator.

The Law Firm of Jessica M. Cotter, Esq.
18301 North 79 Ave
Suite F-168
Glendale, Arizona 85308


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