FAQs Regarding Parenting Coordination

FAQs Regarding Parenting Coordination

So, the Court has appointed a Parenting Coordinator in your case.  You will undoubtedly have questions.  As Parenting Coordinators ourselves, here are some common questions we hear from PC clients.

  1. The other parent brought up that issue to the Parenting Coordinator (“PC”) Why should I have to pay for the PC’s time?

Your PC has to bill you based on what’s in your Court Order.  Unless there is specific language in the Order that allows the PC to bill solely based on which party brought the issue to the PC, you will be billed to help resolve issues.  You might feel frustrated when your co-parent brings an issue to the PC before talking with you.  Unless your Court Order specifically states that the parties must attempt to resolve an issue prior to bringing it to the PC for assistance, then either party may bring an issue to the PC.

  1. I don’t like the parenting time schedule and think I should have more parenting time. Why won’t you fix it?

The PC cannot substantially change the percentages of each parent’s parenting time.  The PC can only help reschedule parenting time if there is an issue with a particular occasion of parenting time, assist with scheduling make-up time, help resolve parenting time disputes regarding holidays and school breaks, and help determine when the opportunity for additional parenting time should be offered.  If you want to modify your parenting time schedule, you need to speak with your attorney.

  1. My daughter doesn’t want to go to the other parent’s home for parenting time. You should talk with her about it so that she doesn’t have to go.

The PC is not acting as a guardian ad litem whose job is to advocate to the court on behalf of a child about the custody and parenting time order.  The role of the PC is to help the parents follow the court orders currently in place. Your PC cannot create a new parenting time schedule that would reduce one parent’s time.  As such, it is not cost-effective for the PC to speak with your child regarding her thoughts about parenting time.  If you want to modify your parenting time schedule, you need to speak with your attorney.

  1. I thought having a PC appointed would make things easier between my co-parent and me, but we still don’t get along.

The role of a PC is not to make co-parents be friends, and unfortunately, there is nothing a PC can do to change anyone’s personality.  The role of a PC is to help parents administer their court orders.  When parents disagree about the meaning of a court order, the court order does not contain instructions on a day-to-day parenting issue or co-parents cannot agree on a decision for the child, the PC can help.

  1. My co-parent is not following the court order. Can the PC help enforce it?

The PC’s role is to help administer the court order, not to enforce it.  Administering the court order might be writing a procedure for how to do something that is ordered by the court.  This is not the same thing as making a finding that someone has violated a court order and punishing that person.  Enforcement of a court order is the job of the court, and you should talk with your attorney if you feel the court order is being violated.

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Elisabeth M. Edwards Attorney
Elisabeth M. Edwards is a founding attorney at Wanzer Edwards, PC where she practices in the areas of family law and divorce, including collaborative law, family mediation and arbitration, and Parenting Coordination. Ms. Edwards completed her undergraduate degree at Hanover College, majoring in English. She went on to earn her Juris Doctor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
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