With over 40 years of combined expert experience, we serve families in the following areas:
- Parenting Coordinator (PC)
- Parenting Conference
- Behavioral Health Family Law Master
- Therapeutic Intervention (TI)
Parenting Coordinator (PC)
Parenting Coordinators are appointed by the Court after both parents stipulate and agree to utilize a PC. Parents may utilize a Parenting Coordinator when their efforts at problem resolution have not resulted in an agreement about co-parenting issues. Co-parenting issues often include; continued disagreements about schedules, overnight parenting time, choice of schools, extracurricular activities, exchanging the children, holiday scheduling, managing children’s problematic behavior, religious training, health issues, and problematic behaviors on the part of one or both parents.
When a dispute is presented to the PC, the coordinator assists parents in reaching a resolution. If the parents cannot agree, the PC makes recommendations to the Court. The PC may gather collateral information such as the children’s opinion, medical and/or behavioral health opinions/records, school records and observations for the children’s caretakers.
Using a Parenting Coordinator will typically reduce the parents need for Court and, therefore, should be cost effective. In addition, the family will usually be seen more quickly by a Parenting Coordinator than the Court, resulting in more timely intervention. The Parenting Coordinator’s goal is to help families develop co-parenting skills eliminating the need a Parenting Coordinator.
Both parents are required to be represented by legal counsel in order for this office to accept a PC appointment. During the entire PC appointment term, the parents are required to retain legal counsel; if either parent releases their legal counsel they need to notify this office and the PC will ask to be released from her appointment term.
A Parenting Conference is ordered by the Court. It is a single non-confidential meeting that is non-evaluative process to review parenting disputes. The Parent Conference provider helps the parties find areas of agreement related to legal decision-making and parenting time; any agreements created during the conference are submitted to the Court prior to a scheduled hearing. The provider also submits a summary of the Parent Conference with considerations and conclusions for the Court. The provider may present any other information or impressions that he or she determines the Court should consider to promote the physical, mental, moral or emotional health of the child[ren].
Behavioral Health Family Law Master
The Family Law Master is a Court appointed role. If the Court finds that the case involves complex behavioral health issues and deems it necessary to engage behavioral health professionals whose special expertise is necessary to address the best interest of a child. Thus, the Court concludes that there is good cause for the appointment of a Behavioral Health Family Law Master (BHFLM) pursuant to Rule 72 of the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure. The BHFLM has the full authority to issue reports which shall become orders of the order forth under Rule 72(E), (F) & G).
Therapeutic Intervention (TI)
A Therapeutic Interventionist is appointed by the Court. Often the Court orders families to work with the Behavioral Health Professional/Interventionist on specific intervention goals. The Interventionist may consult with attorneys, the Court and the families to determine intervention goals. The Intervention process may include the following: gather data and inform the Court regarding family dynamics and functioning; provide relevant psychoeducation to the families; report child maltreatment to law enforcement and Department of Child Safety (f.k.a. Child Protective Services); and facilitate desired change in individuals and families.
The Interventionist’s goals may include the following: promote rehabilitation of a relationship between identified family members; identify, establish and communicate family/individual boundaries and rules for privacy; family rules and behavioral expectations for family members; rules for exchanges of the children; make referrals for behavioral health interventions to address psychological or behavioral issues regarding parents, step-parents and/or children; facilitate the development and implementation of a parenting time plan; facilitate conflict resolution; and provide psychoeducation and support to obviate re-litigation.
The Interventionist’s roles may include: reunification, therapeutic supervised parenting, co-parent counseling/coaching, substance abuse oversight, family intervention, and individual counseling and/or coaching.