Section V of the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines addresses what happens when parents cannot reach a consensus on the best interests of their children and are locked in a dispute from which they cannot agree. In that case, the court may choose to appoint a parenting coordinator who acts as a mediator and helps to refocus the parent’s attention on the best interests of their children.
Indiana courts will always presume that having both parents in the child’s life is better than having only one parent. This, however, does not mean that both parents will have decision-making power over the children’s education, health care, and religious instruction.
In this article, a Dansville, Indiana, child custody attorney will discuss parenting coordinators and the role they play in a divorce.
What is a Parenting Coordinator in Indiana?
According to the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines, the role of a parenting coordinator is: “to assist high-conflict parties by accessing and managing conflicts, redirecting the focus of the parties to the needs of the child, and educating the parties on how to make decisions that are in the best interest of the child.”
Parenting coordinators are neutral third parties who have expertise in mental health or are divorce lawyers acting as mediators to ensure both parties understand the law. Parenting coordinators work with both parents to help resolve parenting disputes and assist parents in improving communication on issues regarding their children.
When you and your co-parent suffer a communication breakdown, and no middle ground seems likely, the court can order the intervention of a parenting coordinator to help ease the issue. The parenting coordinator’s job is to look at the best interests of the children and ensure that the parents are making decisions that benefit their children.
Meeting With a Parenting Coordinator
Parenting coordination generally involves an initial meeting between the parenting coordinator and both parents. All parties will introduce themselves and the issues they are facing. The parenting coordinator may elect to schedule additional sessions with each party individually, either in person, over the phone, or by email. The method of communication will be clearly established and agreed upon by all parties.
Once an agreement is reached, the parenting coordinator will put the agreement in writing. Both parents will sign the agreement. The agreement is then forwarded to both parties’ attorneys and the court, depending on the situation.
When an agreement has been finalized, both you and your co-parent can move forward knowing that you reached an agreement that satisfied the requirements of the law.
While the court can rule that appointing a parenting coordinator is necessary, parents can also come to this decision on their own.
Talk to a Dansville, Indiana, Child Custody Attorney Today
Chris Arrington represents the interests of parents who are engaged in custody disputes during a divorce. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin discussing how to best resolve your dispute with your co-parent.