Parent Coordination Services
Unfortunately, sometimes parents cannot get along. Even after going through the stress of court and ending up with a custody order confusion and disagreements remain. In an effort to keep families out of court and to reduce the conflict in custody actions, a judge may appoint a parenting coordinator "PC" to help oversee conflict and disagreement between two parents. The parenting coordinator is granted the authority to resolve custody disputes outside of the courtroom setting and once appointed the parents must abide by the decisions of the parenting coordinator. The goal is to keep children out of the middle of their parent's problems and to protect and insulate children. A parenting coordinator has the ability to bring issues back before the judge if one or more parents are not complying. Sometimes both parents can be the problem but there are times when only one parent is extremely difficult and a third person may need to be involved to ensure that the difficult parent isn't running the show or constantly dragging the other parent back to court for frivolous or harassing reasons.
Parenting coordinator's are not free (and range in price dependent on the PC) but the fees are usually split between the parents in some manner according to their incomes, as they have agreed, or as the judge so orders. Tiffany Lesnik and Richard Waugaman are specifically trained as parenting coordinators in North Carolina and are on the appointment list in Wake and surrounding counties. They charge $150.00 per hour. They are also highly experienced trained in the areas of domestic violence and mental health and does not force parents to meet together in these situations. Tiffany also has a background in psychology with a B.A. in psychology and a master's education in clinical psychology before she became a lawyer.
Parent Coordinator's are only appointed in high conflict custody cases. High conflict in this state is defined as where the parties demonstrate an ongoing pattern of any of the following:
a. Excessive litigation.
b. Anger and distrust.
c. Verbal abuse.
d. Physical aggression or threats of physical aggression.
e. Difficulty communicating about and cooperating in the care of the minor children.
f. Conditions that in the discretion of the court warrant the appointment of a parenting coordinator.
The authority of the parenting coordinator is limited to the following:
(1) Identify disputed issues.
(2) Reduce misunderstandings.
(3) Clarify priorities.
(4) Explore possibilities for compromise. (5) Develop methods of collaboration in parenting.
(6) Comply with the court's order of custody, visitation, or guardianship.