The Domestic Relations Committee and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the Judicial Conference of Indiana have developed proposed parenting coordination rules and commentary. Parenting coordinators are used to help resolve disputes between parents regarding children. Currently, there are no existing Indiana Supreme Court rules covering the area.
The use of parenting coordinators has increased over the years. Typically, judges would suggest parenting coordinators – PCs – to families who are having difficulties communicating or resolving differences when it comes to their children. Using a parenting coordinator to work out who takes the kids to sports practices, or when to drop off children for visitation helps keep these disputes out of the court system and can save money as compared to using the courts to work out every issue.
Johnson Circuit Judge K. Mark Loyd noticed a swing about two years ago from judicial ordering of PCs to requests from the parties to use a parenting coordinator. Judge Loyd is chair of the ADR committee that is jointly proposing the new rules for PCs. His committee was exploring this issue at the same time the Domestic Relations committee was and the two formed a subcommittee to explore creating these rules. The process took a couple of years and now the rules are available for public comment until May 26.
“There are certainly rules in there that are drawn upon national experiences. There are rules proposed and provisions that are unique to Indiana and our perspectives,” Judge Loyd said.
The proposed rules define what a parenting coordinator is, qualifications, the role of the PC, discipline, and other issues.
Comments should be sent to Jeffrey Bercovitz, Juvenile and Family Law, Indiana Judicial Center, c/o Domestic Relations and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committees, 30 S. Meridian St., Suite 900, Indianapolis, IN 46204-3456.