Areas of Practice
After 26 years as a private attorney, primarily practicing divorce/family law, I am now practicing solely as a Parent Coordinator and as a Case Evaluator on family law cases.
In my family law practice, I found that an increasing number of cases involved two parents who had lost the ability to communicate constructively with each other, to the point that they could not agree between themselves on numerous parenting issues that needed resolution. Bringing their continuing parenting deadlocks to Court for decision would have been too slow and too expensive. Instead, many parties and their attorneys are now retaining the services of a skilled professional–either a divorce attorney or a mental health professional–to act as an arbitrator, who meets with and talks to the parties, and sometimes their children, investigates as necessary, and makes a decision by which both parties are legally bound. This kind of arbitrator has come to be known as a Parent Coordinator.
The Parent Coordinator will normally try to help the parties reach agreement, but if that is not possible, s/he will make the decision. The authority of the Parent Coordinator is set out in a written Agreement, often approved by a Judge, giving the Parent Coordinator’s decision the effect of a Court Order (until possibly overturned by a Judge).
I’ve been impressed by the effectiveness of the role of Parent Coordinators, and have now made this my primary professional work.
I also serve as a Case Evaluator. In this role, I consult either for an individual party in a divorce (or other family law case), or for both parties as a neutral. Whether consulting for one or for both parties, I give independent advice on how the case might be fairly and appropriately resolved. Such advice from a neutral experienced divorce attorney helps some parties resolve their differences quickly and economically, without protracted litigation.