Thursday, February 21, 2013 1:30 PM, Room 438 State House in Augusta there is an opportunity for the public to let our representatives know your thoughts on continuing the role of Parental Coordinators. The current bill is slated to die on January 1, 2014 and for good reason this role within the Judiciary should be put to death. Consider the following:
- There is no defined job description for what a Parental Coordinator can and cannot do. There are no limits or boundaries.
- There are no rules by which a Parental Coordinator operates under or that are tied in with a job description.
- There is no training that is governed by a job description.
- There is no complaint process – The divorce industry and Judiciary will point out there have been no complaints against Parental Coordinators. For good reason – because there is no process to do so. We know of at least seven people who would complain against Parental Coordinators today if there was a process.
- This is another form of Judicial Outsourcing with no oversight or management by those who would be asked to do so.
- Parental Coordinators have immunity from any wrong doing and this is a problem because they essentially have immunity from everything. The role of Parental Coordinator has no definition as it would have with a job description to show how/ when a Parental Coordinator would and would not have immunity.
- The Divorce Industry and special interest groups have convinced the courts Parental Coordinators act with neutrality and no bias for the child or parents. No amount of training will make for a totally neutral person. Personal bias will enter into any process and taint any alleged neutrality that one may have. Parental Coordinators will act contrary to their mandate – this is human nature.
- There is no data to show how many cases current Parental Coordinators are handling and what the optimum case load is.
- There is no data to show if there are problems and where those problems are – for instance are there certain Parental Coordinators that have complaints against them. Or how many cases are being handled by any given Parental Coordinator.
Given the very real problems that the Judiciary has with its Guardians ad litem it makes little sense to create another role which will have the same issues from the start as Parental Coordinators. One also has to question why an organization such as the Maine Guardian ad Litem Institute (MEGALI) has been so involved with wanting the role of Parental Coordinator to be maintained in light of all of the controversy surrounding Guardians ad litem – which they represent. Is it a coincidence that MEGALI President Toby Hollander and member Tobi Schneider submitted rules for Parental Coordinators this past summer? Was it in anticipation of the bill Rep Terry Hayes (Buckfield) and MEGALI member submitted to retain the role beyond the January 1, 2014 date? We may never know.
The public has an opportunity to put to death a bill that has special interest written all over it. Killing the bill will send the message that the Judiciary and special interest should get its house in order before making any new additions. That any future additions should be well thought out and include input from all interested parties. Not just those who will be enriched by the process.
Please write to the members of the Joint Standing Committee on – Judiciary to let them know how you feel about Parental Coordinators and the undefined, under managed role they play in divorce. This bill was going to die in 2014 – we should let it do just that.
For more information and or support contact us at either MeGALalert@gmail or ParentalCoordinatorAlert@Outlook.com. We can also be found on Facebook or Twitter for more up to date information about what is happening.
Judiciary Committee List:
Linda M. Valentino D York County P. O. Box 1049 Saco ME 04072 (207) 282-5227
John L. Tuttle Jr. D York County 176 Cottage Street Sanford ME 04073 (207) 324-5964
David C. Burns R Washington County 159 Dodge Road Whiting ME 04691 (207) 733-8856
Charles R. Priest D Brunswick 9 Bowker Street Brunswick ME 04011 (207) 725-5439
Kimberly J. Monaghan-Derrig D Cape Elizabeth 6 Russet Lane Cape Elizabeth ME 04107 (207) 749-9443
Jennifer DeChant D Bath 1008 Middle Street Bath ME 04530 (207) 442-8486
Matthew W. Moonen D Portland 17 Pine Street #2 Portland ME 04102 (207) 332-7823
Stephen W. Moriarty D Cumberland 34 Blanchard Road Cumberland ME 04021 (207) 829-5095
Lisa Renee Villa D Harrison P. O. Box 427 Harrison ME 04040 (207) 776-3118
Jarrod S. Crockett R Bethel P. O. Box 701 Bethel ME 04217 (207) 875-5075
Michael G. Beaulieu R Auburn 27 Sherman Avenue Auburn ME 04210 (207) 784-0036
Anita Peavey Haskell R Milford 17 Pine Street Milford ME 04461 (207) 827-7296
Stacey K. Guerin R Glenburn 79 Phillips Road Glenburn ME 04401 (207) 884-7118
Wayne T. Mitchell D Penobscot Nation 14 Oak Hill Street, Penobscot Nation Indian Island ME 04468 (207) 827-0392
Governor Paul LePage
Office of the Governor
#1 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0001