What is a Parenting Coordinator?

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Specializing in Complex Divorce & Child Custody Law

 

What is a Parenting Coordinator?

When parents cannot effectively communicate or make joint parenting decisions, they often use the help of a parenting coordinator, more commonly known as a PC.

Appointment:

Unlike other states, Massachusetts does not have a PC law. This means that a Judge cannot appoint a PC unless both parents agree on who it should be and their role. A PC is usually a mental health professional, court probation officer, or attorney who specializes in family law; however, a PC can be anyone on which the parents both agree.

Responsibility and Authority:

The first step in selecting a PC is deciding what you want the PC to do. PC roles range between a coordinator who facilitates communication between the parents, an advisor or educator who provides the parents with advice and input on parenting decisions, and an arbitrator who oversees disagreements and makes binding decisions. Ideally, the parents would attempt to jointly parent where possible and only invole the PC once they are unable to work through a disagreement. If other child-related professionals are invovled in your case, such as a Guardian ad Litem, child therapist, or parenting supervisor, the PC will usually act as a coordinator between the different professionals to keep everyone on the same page.

Which type of role you select depends on the specific facts of your case and the parents’ ability to communicate. Once you decide the PC’s responsibility and authority, you can select a specific PC. We have an extensive network of PCs who we work with and will be able to suggest the best person to fit your specific situaiton.

Process:

Once you have slected a PC, they will normally meet with each parent individually and then together. The PC will explain their capabilities and expectations, have each parent enter into a parenting coordination agreement, and develop a framework and process for handling future parenting issues. The PC may also talk with the children or other professionals to gather the necessary information to understand the family and the issues.

Our attorneys are experienced in working with parenting coordinators and Attorney Baum has an extensive background in working as a PC herself. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

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