Parenting Coordinator/ Decision-Maker

Parenting Coordinator/ Decision-Maker

Allen Weaver offers services as a Parenting Coordinator/Decision-Maker

Parenting can be tough, even on the good days. However, when you add the element of a divorce or high conflict to the equation, it makes it that much more challenging. A Parenting Coordinator/Decision-Maker (PCDM) can often be a viable option for helping parents work through their parenting issues during and after the divorce process.

What is a PCDM?

A PCDM is a neutral professional appointed by the Court to assist parties in implementing their parenting plan, monitor compliance with the details of that plan, and help them resolve their child-related disputes in a timely manner. A PCDM can also be arranged by the mutual agreement of the parties.

The PCDM acts partially like a mediator, and partially like a judge. The initial efforts of the PCDM are to resolve disputes by discussing the issues with the parties, and hopefully come to a mutual agreement. However, in the event the parties cannot reach a mutual agreement with the help of a PCDM, then the PCDM would make the final decision. That decision by the PCDM is binding on the parties, like a Court order.

It is important to understand the PCDM cannot alter legal or physical custody of the children, or substantially change the Court-ordered parenting plan. Rather, the focus of the PCDM is to help implement the existing parenting plan, supplement and fill in details which may be missing in the parenting plan, or assist the parties in modifying a parenting plan when they can mutually agree upon those changes.

Like the parents, the PCDM should always keep the best interests of the children as the primary focus. Ideally, the PCDM works as an independent unbiased individual, who helps both parents maintain a safe, healthy, and meaningful parent-child relationship.

Who would benefit from the PCDM?

Parties who already have a parenting plan but remain in high conflict may benefit from the appointment of a PCDM. Even if the parties are not in high conflict, sometimes a parenting plan lacks the details that parents need to effectively move forward even when they have a reasonable level of cooperation and communication. In those instances, the PCDM can assist the parties in clarifying the parenting plan and working through additional details which may be helpful for the parents as well as the children.

There are several advantages to having a Parenting Coordinator/Decision Maker appointed. In most instances, a PCDM can assist the parties in reaching a quicker resolution to issues than if the parties were to go back to Court. Usually, parents have easier access to a PCDM, with a simple phone call or e-mail, compared to the Court system where a parent may have to file a motion and wait months for the Court to set a hearing on the issue. Additionally, working through issues with a PCDM oftentimes will be less costly than going to Court. Parents may have their family law attorneys involved in the process with a PCDM, but it is not required (and sometimes discouraged). Let’s face it, whether we like it or not, sometimes attorneys get in the way of a successful mediation and sometimes hinder the ability of the parents to reach an amicable agreement between themselves.

Getting a PCDM Onboard: Contact Allen Weaver Today

If you are interested in having a PCDM appointed in your case, please contact Northern Colorado attorney Allen Weaver for additional information. If both parents wish to have a PCDM appointed, they simply need to make those wishes known to the Court. In some situations, the Court will appoint a PCDM regardless of the wishes of the parents. In either event, it is critical the Court issue an order for the appointment of the PCDM. That Court order clarifies the authority of the PCDM as well as issues concerning the allocation of fees, duration of the appointment, limitations, etc. Allen offers his PCDM services on an hourly basis. Those fees are charged to the parties equally, or as the Court might otherwise allocate.