Monday, February 20, 2012

What is a Parenting Time Coordinator?

Recently, the Indiana Court of Appeals entered findings that the trial courts can appoint parent coordinator’s to a matter, even in instances where the parents do not necessarily agree to such an appointment, so long as the appointment may benefit the children of the marriage.

Parent Coordinators or “PC’s” are generally assigned to higher conflict cases where parents are for one reason or another unable to communicate with one another in a manner that supports their children’s best interests.

The role of the PC is to make recommendations and work to resolve conflicts between the parents involving the designated issues, which do not affect the Court’s exclusive jurisdiction to determine fundamental issues of custody and parenting time. Such recommendations, negotiations, and education shall include strategies for enforcing any shared parenting plan and contact/parenting time schedule, for minimizing child-related conflicts between the parties, and for eliminating unproductive or harmful behavior patterns by one or both parents.  Indiana recognizes three distinct levels of parent coordinators with varying levels of powers:
1.      Level 1 – A “Level 1” parent coordinator is generally charged with making recommendations to parties and assisting in facilitating agreements.  A Level 1 PC’s recommendations are not binding upon the parties, but often will later carry weight with courts unless there is a compelling showing to the otherwise.

2.      Level 2 – A “Level 2” parent coordinator has the same powers as a “Level 1” PC, however, the Level 2 PC’s recommendations will have a binding effect upon the parties unless and until overruled by a judge.

3.      Level 3 – A “Level 3” parent coordinator has the same powers as a “Level 1” and “Level 2” PC, however, the Level 3 PC may also select providers for parties (counselors, mental health professionals, anger management professionals, etc.) and monitor treatment, evaluation and services for the family as necessary.

If you believe you may benefit from the services of a Parenting Time Coordinator please contact our firm.

At Hollingsworth & Zivitz, P.C., our team has the experience, the understanding, and the compassion to assist with your family law needs. If you have questions or concerns regarding divorce, custody, support, or any other family law concerns contact our firm at 317.DIVORCE or  visit our website at

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