Parenting coordination (“PC”) has become more popular and widely used in Indiana in recent years. PC is an intervention to help parents manage their co-parenting conflicts so they can attend to their children’s needs in a timely and appropriate manner. This process is generally limited to cases involve high-conflict when parent have difficulty agreeing to parenting time plans, communication issues
Stephenie K. Gookins, has been trained to handle PC cases and act as a parent coordinator. A parent coordinator is generally appointed by the Court at the request of one or both parties. However, parties can agree to engage a PC and submit an order to the court for approval. The basic responsibility of the PC is to assist the parents with the development, implementation, and monitoring of parenting plans. The primary goals include reducing relitigation rates when high conflict is present and providing assistance to children and parents in the divorce adjustment process.
A parent coordinator does not represent either parent, but is working to find a resolution to particular issues that will be in the best interest of the child. PCs can be appointed with different levels of authority from simply providing guidance to parties to setting up treatment plans for parents and children to improve their communication and co-parenting.
The cost of PC services is generally shared by the parties, although it can be attributed to one party in same circumstances. To engage Stephenie as a PC, a retainer must be paid and letters of engagement are signed by both parties to explain the process. Once the letters of engagement are executed, Stephenie will meet with both parties individually so that she can learn the issues that are important to each individual. After the initial meetings, most communication will take place in joint sessions either in person, group email or conference call. The goal of the PC process is to reduce the need to re-litigate issues and always put the best interest of the children in the forefront.
PCs are particularly useful for parents who have great difficulty making important mutual and timely decisions about their children. This intervention is also helpful when there are ongoing and unsubstantiated allegations of parental neglect or abuse of the child. If you are in need of parent coordination services or would like more information, please contact us at CTG, at 317-564-0016, to learn more.