If your divorce and custody case has a parenting coordinator assigned, the goal is to provide a “child-focused alternative dispute resolution process whereby the parenting coordinator assist the parents in creating or implementing a parenting plan by facilitating the resolution of disputes between the parents by providing education, making recommendations, and, with the prior approval of the parents and the court, making limited decisions within the scope of the court’s order of referral.” Any action which comes before a Florida family law court in which the parties are seeking a judgment or order regarding the establishment or modification of a Parenting Plan, the court may—either of their own volition or by agreement by both parties—appoint a parenting coordinator.
The exception to this rule is when there are allegations of domestic violence or a history of domestic violence among the parties, in which case a parenting coordinator may be appointed only with the consent of both parents. A parenting coordinator is meant to be an impartial third party to family law disputes involving children. All Florida parenting coordinators must either: 1)be licensed as a mental health professional, 2)be a licensed physician with psychiatric or neurological certification 3)have a Master’s degree in the field of mental health along with certification as a family law mediator or 4)be a member in good standing of The Florida Bar. The parenting coordinator must also complete all the following:
• Three years of post-licensing or post-certification practice
• A training program certified through the Florida Supreme Court in family mediation
• At least twenty-four hours of training in the parenting coordinator field.
A person who has been convicted on charges of child abuse, child neglect, domestic violence, interference with custody or parental kidnapping may not serve as a Florida Parenting Coordinator. The court will allocate the fees for the parenting coordinator between the parents according to the financial status of each parent. Any person who has been court-appointed as a parenting coordinator must either accept or decline the appointment, using Florida Family Law form 12.984, Response by Parenting Coordinator. To accept the appointment, paragraphs 1(a) and 2 must be completed, and to decline the appointment, paragraph 1(b) must be completed. The form must be signed and filed with the court clerk, then mailed, or hand-delivered to the parents’ attorneys or if the parents are representing themselves, the form will be hand-delivered or mailed to the parents.
If you are in the position of being appointed as a Parenting Coordinator, you may either file your own paperwork in the court, or have a Florida family law attorney from The Law Place file the documents on your behalf. The attorneys at The Law Place have been practicing Florida family law for over two decades and have the necessary experience and knowledge to ensure all necessary paperwork is filed properly and in a timely manner. Our attorneys handle every type of Florida family law case, from the simplest to the most complex. Call The Law Place today for a free consultation.