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25-4-70Duties of parenting coordinator.

The court order appointing the parenting coordinator shall specify the scope of the appointment and authority of the parenting coordinator. Additionally, a parenting coordinator may be ordered to do one or more of the following:

(1)    Inform the parties of the role of the parenting coordinator;

(2)    Monitor implementation of a voluntary or court-ordered parenting plan, the schedule, or parenting time issues provided such resolution does not involve a substantive change to the court's order;

(3)    Recommend strategies for implementing the parenting plan or resolving other parenting issues that may be impacting the parenting plan;

(4)    Assist the parties in developing communication and cooperation for the purpose of effective co-parenting of the children;

(5)    Assist with implementation of court orders and make recommendations to the court regarding implementation, clarification, modification, and enforcement of any temporary or permanent parenting time orders;

(6)    Exclude counsel for the parties from participating in any parenting coordinator sessions;

(7)    Implement domestic violence safeguards as the court deems necessary. For example, ordering no direct communications or no joint meetings, ensuring compliance with all provisions of any protection order or order in a criminal proceeding;

(8)    Document the services provided and record agreements reached;

(9)    Recommend appropriate community resources to one or both parents;

(10)    Educate the parties to effectively parent in a manner that minimizes conflict, develops appropriate parenting skills, identifies sources of conflict, and works to lessen the effect of conflict on the children;

(11)    Make recommendations on the day-to-day issues experienced by the parties;

(12)    Act to empower the parties in resuming parental controls and decision-making, and minimize the degree of conflict between the parties for the best interests of the children;

(13)    Facilitate the ability of both parents to maintain ongoing relationships with the children;

(14)    Only with the prior consent of the court as specified in the order of appointment, make limited decisions subject to review by the court upon motion of the parties as specified in the order of appointment. By way of example only, these issues include disagreements around exchanges, time-sensitive issues, holiday scheduling, discipline, health issues, school and extracurricular activities, and managing problematic behaviors by the parents or children; and

(15)    Interview law enforcement, social workers, health care providers, daycare providers, teachers and family members as necessary to fulfill the terms of the court order. The parties shall be required to sign releases authorizing the parenting coordinator to speak to specific third parties about specific events.

A parenting coordinator shall not have the authority to make any decision affecting child support, a change of custody, or a substantial change in parenting time.

The order appointing the parenting coordinator shall provide direction to the parenting coordinator regarding information or records, if any, which the parenting coordinator is to file with the court. The parenting coordinator shall not engage in ex-parte communication with the court and all documents sent to or filed with the court shall also be sent to the parties in the case.

Source: SL 2013, ch 268, § 7 (Supreme Court Rule 13-07), eff. July 1, 2013.

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