When the dust settles from your divorce, you may find new problems on the horizon. As lawyers, we work very hard to draft a parenting time schedule that is concrete and detailed to avoid any ambiguity or need for interpretation. Inevitably, however, parenting conflicts arise. Enter the parenting consultant (or parenting time expeditor) if you and your ex can’t resolve your dispute.

A parenting consultant is part mediator and part arbitrator. They can listen to parents and facilitate discussion, but also possess decision-making authority. Most are experienced family practitioners or child psychologists who work primarily in the area of parenting dispute resolution.

Parenting consultants offer the following benefits:

  • Good decisions;
  • Fast decisions; and
  • Cheap decisions.

Most parties agree to employ a parenting consultant as part of their divorce decree and appreciate the ability to turn to someone with decision-making power with a simple phone call (try doing that with a judge) in the absence of ongoing legal fees. Most agree that the decision of the consultant is binding and may only be modified with an appeal to the court within 14 days from the decision. Parties typically split the cost of the consultant.