The Law Offices of James A. Cuddy, LLC

Mediator or Parenting Coordinator - Who do I use?

If you are having issues with your ex regarding parenting time, chances are that you want to get back into court to have a judge find him or her in contempt of court, or you want to modify your current order so that you have more time with the kids. While these may be genuine issues that you want resolved quickly, you may not be able to get back to court as soon as you had hoped.

Even more frustrating, your decree may direct you to participate in mediation or bring your issues before a parenting time coordinator (or expeditor) before filing any motions in court. It may be difficult to understand the difference between mediators and expeditors, so this post will be dedicated to explaining the roles of both.

Mediator – A mediator is a neutral third party who is charged with helping disputing parents find a mutual solution. Indeed, the parties may be set on their respective positions, but the mediator is trained to deal with warring parties and can help them understand the flaws in their positions, while showing them what they have to gain by cooperating and forging an accord.

Parenting coordinator – In essence, this person acts as a judge in that he or she actually evaluates each person’s position with regard to the dispute, interprets the decree and is able to award parenting time if it has in fact been violated. The parenting coordinator is also able to reduce parenting time if the child is being abused or mistreated.  These decisions are reviewable by the judge.

If you have additional questions about these roles, an experienced family law attorney can help. 

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