PARENTING COORDINATOR SERVICES
What is the Role of a Parenting Coordinator?
A Parenting Coordinator gets involved in a case after the Court signs an Order appointing the Parenting Coordinator to the case. Parenting Coordination is an intervention designed to help a family deal with potentially disruptive conflict.
The role of the Parenting Coordinator is to minimize the conflict the children are exposed to because of unresolved differences and continuing hostilities between the parents. The Parenting Coordinator’s goal is to foster cooperation between the parents and help them develop an effective co-parenting relationship that meets the needs of their children.
What Types of Issues Can You Assist With?
The Parenting Coordinator deals with a variety of issues, including but not limited to: issues involving parenting time, the children’s communication with parents, transportation of the children, child care, parenting issues, exchanging information, and the children’s activities or schooling.
The Parenting Coordinator may coach parents on how to interact effectively with each other and their children, refer family members to other professionals, mediate disputes between parents, help develop a Parenting Plan, or suggest final decisions when the parents fail to reach agreement.
In 2015, the Arizona Supreme Court assembled a committee to review and make recommendations to the rule governing parenting coordinators, Rule 74, Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure. On August 27, 2015, the Supreme Court adopted revisions to Rule 74.
The new Rule went into effect on January 1, 2016 and will apply to all parenting coordinator appointments after January 1. For all cases in which a parenting coordinator was appointed prior to January 1, 2016, then the appointment will be governed by the prior version of Rule 74 for the remaining term of the appointment.
The changes to Rule 74 are as follows:
- A parenting coordinator can only be appointed by agreement of the parties. The court can no longer appoint a parenting coordinator on its own.
- The parties’ agreement appointing the parenting coordinator must include: (1) a provision that they understand billing methods, and it must (2) include the hourly rate that will be billed for services.
- A parenting coordinator’s recommendations are binding and may only be overturned if the parenting coordinator exceeded the scope of their authority.
- The parties’ agreement must state the method by which the parenting coordinator will be chosen or the name of the agreed upon parenting coordinator.