It’s a Good Idea to Get a Parenting Coordinator Involved to Help the Parties Decide Small Issues
Video Transcribed: A few examples of what issues you should take to a parenting coordinator. I’m Tulsa Family Law attorney, James Wirth, and we’re about to talk about issues that would be good for a parenting coordinator.
So if you have a case in Oklahoma where there’s been a custody order or there’s a custody case that’s ongoing, oftentimes it’s a good idea to get a parenting coordinator involved to help the parties decide small issues, rather than waiting a lot of time to get into a judge or spending a lot of money getting into a judge.
So what are the types of issues that you might want to bring to a parenting coordinator? So I talked to the people all the time over the phone about issues that they’re having and certain ones are great for a parenting coordinator. So some common ones are, if you’ve got an order in place that says that the visitation exchange is supposed to occur at a particular location, but now it doesn’t make sense to do it there.
And that could be either because that location is closed down and it’s no longer available for the public to use, or it could be because one of the parties has moved not far enough to be a relocation, but far enough to where the old spot is no longer a halfway point. So if you’re in that scenario, you want to talk to the other parent, see if an agreement can be reached on a new place.
But if that doesn’t work, seeking out a parenting coordinator and having one appointed or if you already have one, bringing that issue before the parenting coordinator can get you a reasonable decision very quickly. Whereas going to court could take a long time. So that’s one item.
Another one. A lot of times we have parties where there’s an issue with communication and maybe one party has moved or changed their phone number and hasn’t provided it to the other side. So if there’s problems providing contact information to maintain communications, bring that issue to a parenting coordinator, they can normally get that resolved pretty quick.
Another one is a medical records. Sometimes one party is taking the child to the doctor and not providing the records, the information to the other side. Parenting coordinator can normally get involved and help get that resolved.
One we see way too frequently is for an example, a mother’s got a new boyfriend and now she’s telling boyfriend or telling the kids that they should call boyfriend dad instead of dad. And we see that on behalf of dad, we see that on behalf of mom, but we see that way more often than you’d want too. And courts, judges, pretty much universally condemn that.
But you don’t want to spend a lot of time bringing just that issue into court because by the time you get to the court, although the judge will condemn that issue, the judge is going to be pretty upset that his time is having to be utilized on something so simple. Parenting coordinator, much simpler, faster response for something like that.
Another example we see frequently is new relationships and overnight guests of the opposite sex. Sometimes orders will have a provision prohibiting it. Sometimes they don’t. In either scenario, if that’s something going on where your ex spouse or the mother or the father of your child now is in a new relationship and is exposing your kids to that relationship prematurely, that’s an issue you can bring to parenting coordinator and you may get resolution on that.
Another one, extracurricular activities. This is a common one we see as well when parties aren’t getting along, the kids will get signed up for extracurricular that may be are at the same time when the kids are supposed to have visitation with the noncustodial parent.
And I’ve seen people convinced that the other parent is doing that just to obstruct visitation. And I’ve seen the other parents saying no, this is really just the only time available for this extracurricular activity.
In any case, the rights of the non custodial parents are being interfered with, they’re losing the visitation. On the other hand, we want to do what’s in the best interest of the child, as far as extracurricular are concerned. So that requires usually some compromise and some changes in schedules. And if the parties can agree on that, that’s a perfect issue to take to a parenting coordinator to try to get resolution.
Although going to court is usually better for failure to pay child support because there’s a special court process for that in Tulsa County that’s very quick. But for any type of violation, it’s a good idea to bring him to the parenting coordinator first.
See if they can seek resolution on it. The great thing about a parenting coordinator is they’re not only going to tell you what’s reasonable, they actually have the authority to make certain orders or what they call decisions that then become orders of the court after a process.
So if you are losing visitation because of obstruction from the other side, the parenting coordinator can not only make a decision that that party needs to continue to allow visitation, but can also order makeup visitation or make a decision that requires makeup visitation.
And that can save you a trip to court, that can save you a lot of money, but you got to make sure that you handle those recommendations and decisions from the parenting coordinator properly to make sure they become an order of the court.
If you’ve got any questions about that or how to utilize a parenting coordinator, you’re going to want to talk to an attorney about your specific circumstances. If you want to talk to somebody in my office, you can go to maklaweasy.com.