Why would I need a Parenting Coordinator?
If you and your co-parent have difficulty cooperating to make day-to-day parenting decisions or have difficulty putting your parenting plan into action, a Parenting Coordinator, or PC, can assist you. Your PC can help you within a day or two, whereas if you needed to take the issue to Court, you could be waiting weeks or even months. If you find yourself frequently calling an attorney or waiting for a Court date to resolve day-to-day parenting time issues – such as transportation, making important decisions together (such as health, education and religion), making schedule adjustments for parenting time, addressing discipline, children’s involvement in extracurricular activities, or similar issues – a PC may be a quicker and less expensive option.
For more detailed information, check out What is a Parenting Coordinator?
Who can serve as a PC?
Individuals serving as PCs in Central Indiana are commonly attorneys, mediators, or mental health professionals. The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines provide that a PC shall be an Indiana registered domestic relations mediator who has also completed further training specifically in Parenting Coordination. In domestic relations cases a/k/a family law matters, a registered mediator must either be an attorney in good standing with the Supreme Court of Indiana, or an individual who holds a bachelor or advanced degree from an accredited institution of higher learning, and must complete 40 hours of approved domestic relations mediation training. Individuals who are not currently trained as mediators but who have been previously serving as a court-ordered PC may obtain a waiver from the court to continue to serve as a PC; however, he or she must have completed the necessary courses to become a family law mediator and a PC no later than September 2, 2018.
How much does a PC cost?
PCs typically charge by the hour. The hourly rate can vary widely, but usually is based on their experience level. IndyPC.org allows you to search for professionals based on their hourly rates. It’s important to note that generally parents divide the hourly cost of the PC for joint services.
What can a PC do?
A PC authority and role is defined by a Court Order which appoints the PC to a specific family. The role of the PC can vary depending on the needs of the family, but generally includes assistance with parental communication, implementation of a Court-Ordered Parenting Plan, mediation of day-to-day parenting disagreements, and recommending solutions when the parents cannot agree. The PC can also help to monitor parental substance abuse and mental health issues to help create a safe environment for children.
I have selected a PC who may be right for me. Now what?
If you have an attorney, your first call should be to your lawyer. Since a PC is appointed to a family with a Court Order, your attorney can help you get the right paperwork in place. Once the right paperwork is completed, your PC will likely have some forms for you to fill out and will want to meet with you and your co-parent to get to know you and your family. Your ongoing day-to-day communication with your PC is between you and your PC, but often is via telephone or email.