WHAT IS A PARENTING COORDINATOR (PC)?
N.C.GEN. STAT. 50-90 et seq.
A PC is a person with specialized legal and/or mental health training whose goal is to help high-conflict families with issues regarding custody and parenting. The focus of the PC is to help the parents in these families comply with the custody order and make parenting decisions that are in the best interests of their children. When the parents can’t agree, the PC makes the decision.
WHAT FAMILY CHARACTERISTICS CREATE A NEED FOR A PC?• Excessive litigation
• Anger & distrust
• Verbal abuse
• Physical aggression or threats of physical aggression
• Difficulty communicating about and cooperating in the care of children
• Conditions that, in the discretion of the court, warrant the appointment of a PC
WHAT ISSUES WILL A PC ADDRESS?
• Minor and/or temporary changes in custody schedule
• Transition and exchanges of children for visitation
• Health care management
• Child rearing issues
• Mental health care for children and parents
• Parenting classes for parents
• Children’s involvement with parental significant others and extended family
• Education or daycare arrangements extracurricular activities for children
• Children’s travel and passports
• Communication between parents
• Communication between parents and children
• PC’S do not handle financial Issues (unless the parties mutually agree).
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HOW DOES IT WORK?
• Custody Order is entered.
• PC is appointed by Court Order. This is initiated by the Judge or the parents.
• The Request for Parenting Coordinator Services is filled out and faxed to the PC. The PC either accepts or declines appointment and faxes back the Request.
• Appointment conference with the Judge, parents, attorneys, and PC to:
1) explain the role of the PC.
2) sign appropriate releases.
3) provide for financial arrangements.
4) enter further orders regarding appointment as needed.
• PC sets up initial meeting with parents and, at PC’s discretion, with the children.
• Parents notify PC of conflict. PC communicates with the parents to attempt to resolve the problem through compromise.
1) If parents reach an agreement, the PC provides a written narrative of the meeting to the parents and the attorneys.
2) If parents cannot agree, the PC will make the decision and notify the attorneys and parents in writing. Attorneys may ask the court to review a PC’s decision; however, it remains in effect until further court order.
• If the parents agree to a substantial change in the Order, the PC will notify the attorneys of the Agreement so that the attorneys can prepare an appropriate court order.
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