We are currently accepting parenting coordinator/decision-maker cases (PC/DM) in Colorado! Part One.

The role of the PC/DM has two distinct roles.

Accepting PC/DM Cases in Colorado Part One

The first role is parenting coordination. The court may order a parenting time coordinator for a variety of reasons, such as those listed below, without the agreement of the parties. The parties may wish to have a parenting coordinator appointed. An appointment is at least two years. The appointment may be longer with the agreement of the parties and parenting coordinator.

The most important concept to understand is the overwhelming reliance on the parenting coordinator’s role to uphold the best interests of the child (BIOTC).

The reasons for considering a parenting coordinator are.:

  • the parties have failed to adequately implement the parenting plan
  • mediation is not appropriate for the case
  • mediation has been unsuccessful in the past
  • there may be communication issues between the parents
  • there may be a history of domestic violence, substance abuse, excessive litigation not leading to resolution, or mental health issues

The parenting coordinator is facilitative, and immersive, attempting to understand the issues, family dynamics, and needs of the children. This process guides the parties in coming to a consensus on all items regarding implementing the parenting plan. Typically, the parenting coordinator will see opportunities regarding communication styles between the parents and strive to assist with those issues.

The main objectives of the parenting coordinator are:

  • attempt to reduce conflict and chronic litigation between the parties
  • help parents implement their parenting plan

Parenting plan implementation tools include:

  • facilitating negotiations between the parents concerning child-related disputes
  • providing education about children’s needs and development, communication and conflict management skills
  • raising parental skill levels in collaborative or parallel planning and decision-making for their children
  • assisting parents to co-parent in a way that promotes the well-being of the children

Parenting education is an additional component of coordination. Much of this work revolves around communication between the parents.

The coordinator may partner with other collateral professionals involved with the children and parents to gather information, identify issues and problem solve with the parents.

Once there is an agreement by the parties to utilize a parenting coordinator they must petition the court for a court appointment. Again, it may be ordered by a judicial officer.

Once the appointment has commenced it is very difficult for one party to remove the services of a parenting coordinator. It is very important to choose wisely and to interview a parenting coordinator whether in a joint conference or separately. The parenting coordinator should make himself or herself available for this interview.

The parenting coordinator must disclose any prior ties to any party to the case that is up for consideration. Neutrality or the appearance of neutrality is of utmost importance.

The decision-maker role is the second half of the PC/DM role covered in the next blog post.

Feel free to inquire within. We are here to help.

Find Out How We Can Help

Our experience based on years of training, hard work, and passion, as well as familiarity with divorce, dividing up the marital estate and child custody/supervised parenting time issues. You’ll find all that and more at SB Mediation Center.

Please have contact information for all parties before contacting us.