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Parenting Coordinator recommends father should have much more time with the kids -- now what?


Your Question:
Hi Eric...
Well, my husband and I spent the whole summer doing the parent coordination program ordered by the court. The coordinator recommended pretty much a split schedule between my husband and his ex. This is a huge increase in time from what he now has. In your opinion, how likely is the judge to go along with the coordinator's findings? What, if anything, can we do in our upcoming court hearing to make sure that the recommendations stick? And yes, the false abuse charges came up again...with the coordinator stating that she feels the ex's charges are "unsubstantiated". Thanks again for your opinion.

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My Answer:
Hi,

Thanks for writing again. Your previous post is HERE.

Congrats on that recommendation. I think you're in a situation where "it depends" is the operative phrase.

It's good that this parent coordination program was court-ordered, as it suggests the court finds it to be a credible program. However, "it depends" upon how much credibility the judge puts into this particular coordinator, and how much the judge looks to this person to make recommendations. It may just be a way for the judge to keep you guys out of court, with no special desire for recommendations on modifying anything. Or it may be a way the judge wanted to find out what the heck was going on, with a recommendation.

It also depends upon how much power was giving to this coordinator. If the court order reads something like, "Parties shall participate with a parent coordinator, and said coordinator shall have the authority to make binding decisions on behalf of the children's best interest", then you're likely golden.

But if it just reads, "Parties shall participate in the parent coordination program", then you're back to having a presumed objective expert making a suggestion that the court may or may not want to hear.

Further, it could "depend" upon how the coordinator was selected. If the judge said, "Mary Smith is to be your parenting coordinator," then the judge obviously holds the person in high regard.

But if your husband came up with the name, the mother will claim that the coordinator was biased towards dad from the start.

Finally, it "depends" upon your attorney's ability to argue this, and if your attorney feels that the time is now. It seems to me that Dad will inevitably get significantly more time with the children than he currently has. Everything is going in that direction. But, whether it's appropriate to raise all this NOW at your upcoming hearing... that's up to your attorney to decide.

Your husband may have an excellent opportunity right now, based upon this objective expert's stated recommendations. It may be worth shelling out a few hundred bucks to consult with another experienced attorney in your area to help you assess whether y'all strike right now on this coordinator's recommendation, or if you bide your time to gather more strength in your case and do it later. Don't tell your attorney that you're meeting with someone else. Just use it for your own personal knowledge.

I don't know the answer on timing of it all. But based upon this person's recommendation, it's very clear that you and your husband have been doing everything right over the past several months, so I say you should continue to go with your gut.

Eric





This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.


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