All Things Family Law

Discussion of all things related to family law from an Indiana divorce attorney.

This blog provides general family law and divorce law information. If you have a specific issue or case you need assistance with please contact me directly. 

Parenting Coordination, Model Rules, Part 1 - Indiana Custody Law

We've written about parenting time coordinators, or parenting coordination before.  Parenting coordination is evolving in Indiana.  The New Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines will likely include references to parenting coordination.   Just this past year a Court of Appeals case held that a parenting time coordinator may my be ordered upon parents, even where one of the parents objects.  The Domestic Relations Committee and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the Judicial Conference of Indiana have released Model Rules and a Model Order for parenting coordination.  They are accepting comments until May 26, 2011.

The proposed rules define parenting coordinator as: "an impartial third party qualified under these rules, who is appointed by the court to assist parties in resolving issues and recommending solutions to disputed issues relating to parenting in any action for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, paternity, or guardianship where a minor child is involved."

The proposed rules provides that following persons may qualify as a parenting coordinator:

  • The Parenting Coordinator shall at all times be a registered Indiana domestic relations mediator.
  • The Parenting Coordinator shall be a licensed mental health provider as defined at Ind. Code § 31-33-25-4, with a minimum of a master’s degree in a mental health or related field, or an attorney licensed to practice law in Indiana with substantial family law practice experience.  
  • The Parenting Coordinator shall have at least five years experience in their profession with high conflict or litigating parents.  
  • The Parenting Coordinator shall have training in the parenting coordination process, family dynamics in separation and divorce, parenting coordination techniques, domestic violence and child maltreatment.  The training shall consist of a minimum of twenty hours of Indiana Supreme Court Commission for Continuing Legal Education approved parenting coordinator training, to include at least five hours of domestic violence training. 
  • A Parenting Coordinator shall maintain professional competence in the parenting coordination process.  A Parenting Coordinator may participate in peer consultation or mentoring to receive feedback and support on cases.  

The model rules address other aspects regarding how a parenting coordinator must practice.  We will summarize those in future posts. 

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