Do I Need A Parenting Coordinator?

Emily J. Schmale

Author: Emily J. Schmale

POST DATE: 5.30.24
Ccha  Family Law

Navigating a high-conflict divorce can be a daunting challenge, particularly when it involves co-parenting. If you find yourself struggling to communicate effectively with your ex-partner, engaging a parenting coordinator may offer the support and guidance you need.

Here in Indiana, the role of a parenting coordinator has become a critical resource for parents mired in constant disagreements and communication failures. They can provide a structured and impartial environment where both parties can focus on the ultimate goal: the well-being of their children. By working with a skilled parenting coordinator, you can create a more harmonious and stable environment for your family.

What Is a Parenting Coordinator?

A parenting coordinator (PC) is a neutral third-party professional appointed by the court, or by agreement of the parties, to facilitate communication and cooperation between parents involved in a high-conflict divorce. PCs are typically mental health professionals or attorneys with specialized training in child development, family dynamics, and conflict resolution.

Couple sitting down with parent coordinator

Authority and Limitations of a Parenting Coordinator

It’s important to understand a parenting coordinator’s authority and limitations. PCs do not have the power to make legal decisions regarding child custody or parenting time. Their primary role is to guide parents in resolving disputes related to these issues, focusing on the best interests of the child or children. Here are some examples of the responsibilities of a parenting coordinator.

  • Facilitating communication. PCs create a safe space for parents to discuss concerns and develop solutions collaboratively. They employ communication techniques that minimize conflict and promote productive dialogue.

  • Interpreting existing agreements. If parents already have a custody agreement, a PC can help clarify its meaning and assist both parties in adhering to its terms.

  • Developing parenting plans. In some cases, PCs can assist in creating a new parenting plan or modifying an existing one. They offer guidance on scheduling, communication methods, and decision-making processes.

  • Monitoring compliance. PCs can monitor how parents implement the parenting plan and address potential violations.

  • Making recommendations. If parents reach an impasse, a PC can make non-binding recommendations to the court regarding child custody or parenting time matters.

Parenting coordinators do not have decision-making authority. Their role is to guide parents toward constructive communication and encourage them to find solutions that prioritize the best interests of their children.

Indiana State Laws and Parenting Coordination

Section V of the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (IPTG) provides a framework for developing parenting plans in Indiana. The IPTG specifically addresses parenting coordination and outlines the circumstances under which a court may order parents to participate:

  • A history of domestic violence,

  • Frequent litigation regarding child custody or parenting time,

  • Difficulty communicating with each other,

  • Inability to agree on significant aspects of the parenting plan, or

  • Potential for emotional harm to the child due to parental conflict.

If you are considering parenting coordination, it is crucial to consult with an experienced family law attorney in Indiana. Contact Church Church Hittle and Antrim to discuss the specifics of your situation and whether parenting coordination is the right course of action.

Cost of Parenting Coordination

The cost of parenting coordination varies depending on the PC’s experience, location, and the complexity of the case. Fees are typically paid by both parents, and courts may order specific payment arrangements. It’s important to discuss fees upfront with the PC before starting the process.

Couple shaking hands

When Is a Parenting Coordinator Beneficial?

While parenting coordination isn’t suitable for every high-conflict divorce, there are several situations where it can be immensely beneficial:

  • Constant arguments. If communication between parents is consistently hostile or unproductive, a PC can create a neutral environment for discussions.

  • Disagreements over custody and parenting time. PCs can help parents reach agreements on crucial matters like holiday schedules, extracurricular activities, and decision-making for the children’s well-being.

  • Difficulty implementing an existing plan. A PC can help clarify ambiguous aspects of a custody agreement and help ensure both parties follow its provisions.

  • Protecting children from conflict. PCs prioritize the emotional well-being of children by minimizing their exposure to parental arguments.

Why struggle to communicate effectively with your ex-partner? Instead of finding yourself constantly at odds regarding your children, consider discussing parenting coordination with an attorney. Contact CCHA, and let us help you prioritize the best interests of your children. We can aid you in establishing a more peaceful co-parenting dynamic.

Find Out If Parenting Coordination Is Right for You

If you’re facing or embroiled in a high-conflict divorce in Indiana, contact CCHA today. We can assess your situation, advise you on the possible benefits of parenting coordination, guide you through the process, and represent your interests in court. CCHA is a full-service law firm in Hamilton County, Indiana, serving the community for over 100 years.

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