Parent Coordinator in Child Custody Cases

Parent CoordinatorA district court judge in North Carolina may appoint a parenting coordinator in child custody cases.  A parent coordinator is a person designated by the court and assigned to the case to reduce conflict between the parents for the welfare of the children in high conflict child custody cases in Wake County and other counties in North Carolina.
The parent coordinator may be appointed to  identify disputed issues, reduce misunderstandings, explore compromise, clarify priorities, develop methods of collaboration in parenting, and ensure compliance with the court’s custody order.  At any time in a child custody case the district court judge may appoint a parent coordinator if all the parties agree and consent to the appointment.  Furthermore, the court may appoint a parenting coordinator without the consent of the parties upon entry of a custody order if the court finds that:
  • The action is a high-conflict case and the appointment is in the best interest of the child or children.
  • The parties are able to pay the cost of the coordinator.
  • The appointment order must specify the issues the coordinator is to assist the parties in resolving and may incorporate any agreement made by the parties as to the coordinator’s role.
A high-conflict custody case is one where the district court judge finds that the parties demonstrate an ongoing pattern of excessive litigation, anger and distrust, verbal abuse, physical aggression or threats of physical aggression, communication issues regarding the children or other conditions that the court determines warrant the appointment of a parenting coordinator.
In North Carolina the district court maintains a list of qualified parenting coordinators. To be eligible, the person must meet the following requirements:
  • Hold a master’s degree in psychology, law, social work, counseling, medicine, or a related subject area.
  • Have at least five years of related professional experience.
  • Hold a current license in the parent coordinator’s area of practice.
  • Complete the required training in topics related to the developmental stages of children, the dynamics of high-conflict families, stages and effects of divorce, problem solving techniques, mediation and legal issues.
  • To remain eligible, the person must also attend parent coordinator seminars providing continuing education, group discussion, peer review, and support.

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Raleigh divorce lawyer Scott Allen is a designated parent coordinator in Wake County.  He also handles modification of custody, child custody, and temporary custody hearings and has over seventeen years of experience.  

If you have questions or need assistance call him at (919) 863-4183 or email at sallen@allenspence.com.