BBA Section Comments Inspire Revisions in Parenting Coordination Procedures

On February 1, 2017, the Probate and Family Court promulgated Parenting Coordination Standing Order 1-17, related to the procedures and requirements for parenting coordinators either assigned by agreement between parent parties or appointed by the Court. The Standing Order will be effective on July 1, 2017.

The BBA’s Family Law Section provided comments on a draft of the Proposed Standing Order on January 20, 2016. The comments raised a number of areas of concern, pointing especially to the uncertainty surrounding what happens when the parties disagree with a parenting coordinator, whether or not the Court has the power to grant the parenting coordinator binding decision-making authority without agreement of the parties, and what payment procedures apply if the Court appoints a parenting coordinator but both parties refuse to pay.

Ultimately, many of the concerns expressed in the comments were addressed in the final version of the Order. The Court clarified that parties always had a right to access the Court, even when they had submitted to the binding decision-making authority of the parenting coordinator. Additionally, the Order now provides that the binding decision-making authority of the parenting coordinator could only apply upon agreement of the parties and that a parenting coordinator could not be appointed by the Court if both parties refused to pay.

We are pleased to have taken part in the commenting process and to see that your comments were incorporated in the final Standing Order. We look forward to being part of future opportunities to comment and to keeping you informed throughout the process.

Learn more about the impact of BBA Comments last year: