Services for cases outside of these counties may be available upon request.
A parenting coordinator helps the parties implement court orders and with daily parenting matters. Kansas Supreme Court Rule 909 states that parenting coordination is appropriate in cases where:
- The child’s parents are persistently in conflict with one another over child-related issues;
- Parenting coordination is in the best interests of the child; and
- One or more of the following circumstances exist:
- Parental problem-solving or communication is ineffective;
- A parent has a history of substance abuse;
- A history of domestic violence is present;
- Concerns exist about the mental health or behavior of a parent;
- A child has special needs; or
- The district court otherwise determines parenting coordination is appropriate
A parenting coordinator is a neutral alternative dispute resolution provider. However, parenting coordination is not a confidential process as the parenting coordinator may submit reports or recommendations to the court. A parenting coordinator may make decisions that may alter the parenting plan or resolve parenting disputes such as: one-time changes to parenting time to accommodate special events; transportation provisions, communication between parents or parents and children; alteration of the child’s appearance such as haircuts or piercings; or methods of exchange of the children’s belongings. This is not an exhaustive list, but just a few examples of the issues that a parenting coordinator can help with. The goal of parenting coordination is to help the parents reduce conflict, improve communication, and stay out of court. A parenting coordinator can be appointed for up to two years and may be reappointed as needed after the initial appointment.
Parenting Coordination FAQs
Parenting coordination is typically appropriate in cases where the parents struggle with making joint decisions, have trouble communicating, and frequently ask the court to decide issues that many coparents are able to resolve outside of court. Often these are cases where the parties have been divorced or separated and final orders have been entered, but they have returned to court one or multiple times with requests to modify the parenting plan or to hold the other parent in contempt. Parenting coordination can be helpful in cases where the parenting time for each party has been established but the parties just cannot seem to communicate or make decisions regarding their children, so they are constantly at odds.
A parenting coordinator must be an approved mediator in domestic mediation, have mediated at least 10 domestic cases, and have completed 16 hours of approved parenting coordination training. Additionally, a parenting coordinator must complete six hours of Continuing Dispute Resolution Education (CDRE) each year to remain an approved parenting coordinator. Kansas Supreme Court Rules regarding Dispute Resolution may be found here: https://www.kscourts.org/Rules-Orders/Rules.aspx