Where is consumer input? Toby Hollander of the Maine Guardian ad Litem Institute (MEGALI) was instrumental in drafting the current proposed rules for Parental Coordinators. Mr Hollander’s MEGALI is the trade organization that represents the special interests of Guardians ad litem (GALs) in the state. The proposed rules for Parental Coordinators that Mr Hollander has submitted – look as if there was little or no consumer input. Given the controversy surrounding Guardians ad litem and the lack of consumer protection with them it is surprising that consumers were not more involved in the drafting of these new rules.
A Parental Coordinator (PC) is a Court Officer that is brought into a high conflict divorce and acts as a neutral party to bring resolution. In theory the idea makes sense. Unfortunately in practice this rarely happens if ever. There are no qualifications for a person who wants to become a PC yet they will decide which doctor your child goes to, what school he/ she attends and how much time your child can spend with you. The Parental Coordinator in your divorce becomes the parent – you become the child. With no qualifications other than being an adult – a parental coordinator will make life changing, personal, family and child rearing decisions.
What are the benefits of having a Parental Coordinator in your divorce? For the judge it means that you are no longer clogging up his/ her court room. The Judge sees a Parental Coordinator as a means of eliminating or reducing his/ her workload. Some would call this “Judicial Outsourcing”. For the Parental Coordinator it is an annuitized income that is for the most part guaranteed by the courts. For you the parent faced with this stranger and trying to make sense of a situation that can (and often does) become insane. You receive a large bill, a service that is of little value, frustration and anger.
The state currently has huge issues with Guardians ad litem and trying to correct almost 40 years of a broken system. The state and the Judiciary do not need to add another problem to their plate. On January 1, 2014 the role of a Parental Coordinator is set to expire and for many of divorcing families in the state who have had to deal with a Parental Coordinator that is probably a good thing. Fixing the problems that the state has in its courts should be a top priority – not creating another element to the divorce industry.
If you have had issues with a Parental Coordinator – for support please contact us at ParentalCoordinatorAlert@outlook.com. To view the current legislation to retain Parental Coordinators beyond 2014 (LD47 HP42) Download a copy of the proposed rules – links will only work in downloaded copy.