What is a Parenting Coordinator?
If you are unfamiliar with the divorce process in Oklahoma, you may not have heard about parenting coordinators. A parenting coordinator can be assigned to cases in which communication is difficult because of the level of contentiousness in the divorce. One can also be assigned in cases in which it would be helpful, and a parent has requested one. They can be extremely helpful in many cases and can keep costs lower in contentious cases.
Parenting coordinators are always neutral third parties to the action. They are specially trained. They can be attorneys or mental health professionals with experience in divorce cases. A parenting coordinator can be appointed by a family law judge to help parents resolve communication issues between them and to help enforce the court’s orders.
Their role is limited to communication between the parties and making smaller decisions on matters such as a one-time change in a visitation schedule. This can keep a couple from having to seek a solution in court for every bump in the road with their ex when handling issues regarding their children.
How and When Are Parenting Coordinators Appointed?
Most often, a parenting coordinator is appointed in high conflict cases. These are cases in which there are usually a lot of court hearings. These cases tend to have highly charged emotional and legal issues, often with regard to the children of the marriage.
The court may appoint a parenting coordinator on its own motion if it feels that it would be in the child’s best interests to do so. In these cases, it’s not necessary for a parent to request these services.
Sometimes, both parents agree that a parenting coordinator would be helpful, and they make a request for one. In that case, the court may appoint one.
When They Can Be Helpful
You may be on the fence about whether to use the services of a parenting coordinator. After all, this is another added expense to the cost of divorce. But here are some ways in which you can use this neutral third party to help keep things smooth and, ultimately, save you time and money.
A parenting coordinator can help keep communication between parents running smoothly on all sorts of issues. Whether you just need a quick answer or don’t want to go through the trouble of preparing a motion and attending a court hearing.
For example, over time the exchange site for the visitation handoff of the child from one parent to another may need to change. What was once a convenient location may not be convenient or practical any longer. Changing the location may not warrant a court hearing, but it would make your life easier.
It is a simple thing to shoot an email to your parenting coordinator about the issue. They can handle the issue, usually with a couple of emails back and forth. And though the coordinator charges for their time in resolving the matter, the cost is much less than filing a motion.
A parenting coordinator can also make one-time adjustments to visitation. These issues are usually time-sensitive, and getting a quick resolution can be helpful. Court hearings take too much time to provide quick resolutions for fairly minor issues. The parenting coordinator can address exactly this sort of thing.
Parenting Coordinator Decisions
Sometimes a parenting coordinator facilitates communication. Other times, they make decisions. A parenting coordinator must draft and file their decision with the court within 20 days. They must then give copies to the parties involved. Either party may object within 10 days. The other party has another 10 days to file a response to that objection before it goes to the judge. The judge can sign off on these issues quickly.
If you have questions about whether a parenting coordinator’s services would be helpful in your case, bring your questions to an experienced father’s rights divorce attorney. Your attorney can help you decide a parenting coordinator may be right for you and your situation.
Consult a Fathers’ Rights Divorce Attorney Now
Whether you’re going through a divorce or making decisions on child custody, you need an attorney from Tulsa Fathers’ Rights who is committed to protecting your legal interests. Contact us for a confidential free consultation. Call (918) 986-7724 or send an inquiry using the contact links on this page.