On March 1, 2019, Rule 1915.11-1 went into effect, providing for counties in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to adopt a parenting coordination process for people dealing with certain kinds of custody disputes. You may be asking, “What is parenting coordination?” Parenting Coordination is a process designed to do several things: (a) Reduce demand on the court system to resolve certain custody disputes and (b) provide a mediation process for families dealing with those custody disputes. Parenting Coordination is limited to the following disputes: (a) drop-off places and times; (b) temporary variation from the set custody schedule (for instance, vacations, school trips, athletic events, etc.); (c) educational issues other than school selection; (d) extracurricular activities for children; (e) child-care decisions; (f) clothing, equipment, toys, etc. and who should provide them; (g) communication and information issues related to school, healthcare, etc.; (h) coordinating schedules for psychological testing, alcohol and drug monitoring, and therapy; (i) behavioral issues of the children; and, (j) other related custody issues the parties have agreed to submit to a parenting coordinator. The Parenting Coordination process does not cover issues relating to: (a) a change in legal custody; (b) a change in primary physical custody; (c) a change in a court-ordered custody schedule affecting the time children spend with parties, with some exceptions; (d) a change in residence of children; (e) determining financial issues; (f) major decisions related to health, education, religion or welfare of the children (for instance, which church to take the children to, which school the children should attend, or major healthcare decisions.)
Parenting Coordinators are experienced family attorneys and family healthcare professionals. They are not your attorney. Instead, the Parenting Coordinator is a neutral third party that makes decisions for co-parents when the co-parents are not able to resolve issues on their own. The Parenting Coordinator is chosen by the parties or appointed by order of court. Parenting Coordinators are paid an agreed upon rate for their time, which is capped by local rule. Because the rule just went into effect, it remains to be seen which counties will adopt the parenting coordination process. The decision to enact a parenting coordination system is county-specific.
If you are located in Allegheny County, Washington County, Butler County, Greene County, Westmoreland County, or Fayette County involved in a custody dispute dealing with one of the above issues, then contact the trusted custody attorneys at Dodaro, Matta, & Cambest, P.C. at 412-243-1600 today to schedule a consultation.