Parenting Consultants have the authority to address issues involving parenting time disputes. Depending upon the parties’ agreement and the Court Order, the Parenting Consultant may also have the authority to change parenting time schedules.
A Parenting Consultant is a neutral party who can make decisions relating to custody and parenting time disputes based upon the specific contract of the parties. A Court cannot, on its own initiative or upon the request of one party, appoint a Parenting Consultant. A Court can only appoint a Parenting Consultant if both parties agree and a Court Order is signed which memorializes the parties’ agreement. Therefore, a Parenting Consultant is a creature of contract. No two (2) Parenting Consultants are the same because they may be governed by two very different contracts.
Parenting Time Expeditor versus Parenting Consultant
A Parenting Time Expeditor does not have the authority to modify a parenting time schedule or address issues involving custody. On the other hand, depending upon the Court Order, a Parenting Consultant may have the authority to modify parenting time or even suspend parenting time. A Parenting Consultant may also testify in Court regarding the underlying facts involving a dispute.
The costs of a PC are governed by the contract between the parties. It is not uncommon for the PC to have the authority to apportion fees in a disproportionate manner if one party acts in bad faith or prolongs the length or expense of the process.
You should always consult with an attorney before deciding between a Parenting Time Expeditor or a Parenting Consultant.