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Parenting Coordination

BKR’s parenting coordinators bring compassion and experience to your parenting issues.

If you find yourself struggling with parenting issues after your divorce case concludes, or even while your case is pending, parenting coordination may be right for you.

Parenting coordinators are neutral parties, usually mental-health professionals or divorce lawyers, who work with both parents together to resolve parenting disputes, and assist parents in improving communication on issues related to their children. If you and your co-parent find yourselves bogged down in disputes over the meaning of a Court order, how to handle a parenting issue that is not addressed in a Court’s order, or just navigating day-to-day parenting issues, BKR’s parenting coordinators can help you come to a resolution much more quickly and economically than going through the litigation process in Indiana courts.

Parenting coordination in Indiana typically involves an initial meeting between the parenting coordinator and both parents, where all parties introduce themselves and the issues at hand. Depending upon the situation, the parenting coordinator may elect to conduct additional sessions with each party individually, and/or to conduct phone or email communications on various issues. The method of communication will be clearly set out and agreed upon by all parties during the initial parenting coordination session.

Once you and your co-parent reach agreement on an issue, the parenting coordinator typically will reduce the agreement to writing and have both parents sign the agreement.. The signed agreement then is forwarded to counsel for both parties – and perhaps to the Court, depending upon the specific situation. At this point, you and your co-parent can move forward, knowing that you have reached an agreement with which each of you is satisfied, and in a manner that protected your family from the stress and expense inherent in the court process.

Depending upon the type of parenting coordination you and your co-parent choose, the parenting coordinator also can be given the power to make “binding recommendations” in the event an agreement is not reached. You always retain the right to bring those recommendations to the judge for review and approval (or disapproval), but the parties are bound by the recommendation until the trial court says otherwise. While a “binding recommendation” is the last resort for a parenting coordinator, it does provide the ability to give guidance on issues that might ordinarily become “stuck” in the court system, so that co-parents have “rules to live by” instead of waiting in limbo for a court date and ultimate decision from the judge.

Parenting Coordination Preparation

Prior to your first parenting coordination session, you will want to gather the following documents and bring them with you to your session:

  • Your most recent settlement agreement(s) and/or order(s), as well as any former agreement(s) which apply to your case. If you are not clear about which agreements currently control your case, contact your counsel and ask him or her to provide copies to the parenting coordinator.
  • A list of issues you wish to discuss with the parenting coordinator.
  • A copy of the order appointing the parenting coordinator.
  • A signed original of your engagement letter (which will be sent to you by the parenting coordinator prior to the initial session), along with a method of payment of your retainer (cash, check, or credit card).

Contact us today to schedule a parenting coordination session in Central   Indiana!

The parenting coordinators at Broyles Kight & Ricafort, P.C. are neutral parties who work with both parents to resolve parenting disputes and to improve communication on issues related to their children. If you and your co-parent find yourselves bogged down in disputes during the divorce process, BKR’s parenting coordinators can help you come to a resolution much more quickly and economically than going through the litigation process in Indiana courts. . If you have more questions about parenting coordination with BKR in Indianapolis, Indiana, call 317-571-3601. Our experienced parenting coordinators offer services to clients throughout Indiana.

Indiana Parenting Coordination FAQs

If the children split their time between two homes, is it always 50/50?

Children do not always split their time 50/50 between homes during and after divorce. Many factors play into whether a 50/50 arrangement is appropriate, some of which would be distance between the parents’ homes, ages of the children, work schedules of the parents, schools the children attend, the children’s activities, and so much more. I would say there are nearly as many types of living arrangements as there are families that we work with. Some families prefer a week-on/week-off arrangement, exchanging the kids once per week on the same day each week. Others are willing to do more transitions between homes, in an effort to break up the time a bit more. Those families may use what we call a 2/2/3 schedule, where one parent always has the children Monday and Tuesday, the other always has the children on Wednesday and Thursday, and they alternate Friday through Sunday. Some families find it is better for the kids to be more often in one house than the other. In these cases, parents typically will equally share weekends, either by alternating or saying one parent has 2 weekends per month. Midweek nights are then shared in a way that works for the family, sometimes involving overnights, sometimes not. Many people get stuck on the schedule set forth in the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines and think they must follow that schedule, which isn’t true at all. The Guidelines and our courts encourage families to be creative and find schedules that work for their particular family.

Is it possible for both parents to have equal rights and decision-making powers regarding their children?

Absolutely. In Indiana there are two types of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the decision-making authority for the big issues in a child’s life: healthcare, religion, and education. Physical custody refers to where the children reside. Parents can share equal legal custody, and have equal decision-making power for those big issues in a child’s life, regardless of whether the children split their physical time equally between homes.

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