The Decision-Making Role and How It Works.
Accepting PC/DM Cases in Colorado Part Two
The role of the PC/DM has two distinct roles, as presented in part one of this post. The second role is the decision-making component. The decision-making component could be divided into two distinct functions of decision-making and arbitration, creating three roles in total.
§14-10-128.3: is the decision-making component of the parenting coordinator/decision-maker.
This role is employed when the parties fail repeatedly to comply with the parenting coordinator’s recommendations, conflict doesn’t subside, where the parenting coordinator has been ineffective. This appointment is created to resolve parenting issues not related to finances. Finances will be addressed later in this article.
When the role of the parenting coordinator begins transitioning to a decision-maker the parties will be notified of the change.
§14-10-128.5: Appointment of arbitrator. (Scroll down to see the 128.5 description)
The decision-maker’s arbitration appointment is to handle all disputes between the parties without the need for the court’s involvement.
With consent from all parties, the court may appoint an arbitrator to resolve disputes concerning minor or dependent children. Examples of disputes:
- including but not limited to parenting time
- non-recurring adjustments to child support
- disputed parental decisions
Both roles must be understood by the decision-maker with great care. The decision-maker is making permanent changes to the family’s lives. There must be an understanding of the statutes of the specific family dynamic, the decision-maker is attempting to remedy.
Key points to remember about the parenting coordinator/decision-makers role.
- the appointment is at least two years. More if all parties agree to an additional term.
- only the parenting coordinator may be ordered without the agreement of the parties.
- the decision-maker decisions normally take two weeks at the longest. The courts may take 2-3 months.
- all decisions may be de novo reviewed by the courts within 30 days, filed by a party, to the courts if a party is unhappy with the decision of the decision-maker.
- all roles are confidential. All parties are to abide by this provision.
- the roles are quasi-immune to punishment or penalty unless there is gross misconduct by the parenting coordinator/decision-maker.
- all roles the parenting coordinator/decision-maker must disclose any relationship with any of the parties or other collateral persons/entities to the case.
- all decisions shall be written and filed with the courts and given to the parties within 21 days.
- decisions/awards are immediately enforceable.
- there shall be no ex-parte (private communication) between the parenting coordinator/decision-maker and the courts.
- unless there is agreement from all parties to have the parenting coordinator/decision-maker withdraw, the courts would have to intervene. Removal may be difficult if one party seeks the withdrawal.
- the parenting coordinator/decision-maker must have significant training in regards to, empathy, emotional intelligence, cultural awareness, socioeconomic status, family dynamics and listening to hear actively at all times.
- quick resolutions, not waiting months for a court date, and a true conflict mitigation process.
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