TOOL OF THE DAY: Parenting Coordinator/Parenting Facilitator
CATEGORY: Family Law
All states are using “the best interest of the child” to justify any action that they take, e.g. appointing a guardian ad litem, appointing a parenting facilitator or a parenting coordinator.
Just because a statute says that the court gets to determine best interest, do you accept that? Hopefully you do not. So if you choose to dig deeper into your lessons on your parental rights, you would look for the wrongheaded thinking and de-bunk each one, one step at a time.
In Texas a parenting coordinator has to follow mediator rules and they can only inform the court if they feel that coordination should continue or whether it succeeded or failed.
A parenting facilitator however can report recommendations to the court. And even though they cannot recommend conservatorship or possession the courts have learned how to use their feedback to decide which parent they will deprive the child.
If you want to battle this constitutionally, and you wish to address each prong of the requirements before a court appointing either a parenting coordinator or facilitator, I would go to chapter 2 in our green book, “NOT in the Child’s Best Interest” and go to page 15 where we discuss what Reno v. Flores says, that “Even if it could be shown that an expert could make a “better” decision, it is irrelevant, because the Supreme Court says that even if the State thinks it could make a better decision, it does NOT have the right to do so.”
In order to appoint a Parenting Coordinator (PC) or a Parenting Facilitator (PF) the court must find that “the case is a high-conflict case or there is good cause shown and the appointment is in the best interest of the child.” (p30 Chapter 40 “SAPCR Overview – Presumptions, Burdens, Statutes, and Case Law)
Refer to pages 19-20 in the NICBI book under the wrongheaded thinking that “Harm comes to a child when divorced parents disagree or argue.” The courts do not have the right to protect children from all perceived harms. Disagreements between two parents is generally one of these areas that the courts cannot generally interfere or reach into other than the least restrictive and most narrowly tailored. The child is entitled to be protected by their parents, both of their parents individually. When the court forces the involvement of anyone that can impose their decisions onto the parents like a PF and cause the court to deprive a parent of the ability to continue to make best interest determinations for their own child without proving constitutionally the necessity to interfere with these rights. A statute alone is not enough. The trial court may be able to use that statute. But it is up to you to preserve your right on the record to challenge that statute.
Lastly, “good cause” must be shown by the court. Look up cases in your area to decide how your court interprets “good cause.” And again if they are using excuses and ignoring proper due process, it is up to you to challenge that and preserve the record in the case that it becomes necessary to challenge the judge’s interpretation of the constitutionality of the court’s actions and what they base those actions on.
Naturally, it is always best to settle out of court if you can, especially since the courts see it as their duty to take over the rights of your child when you appear before them. They view you as a failure if you couldn’t get the other parent to give in to you and take that as their signal to treat your child as if they have become state property. Then they will act as if they need some other person to get involved in order to inform the court of what is best for the child.
There are a lot of dangers and risks out there waiting to take advantage of your child. This is why the founding fathers have vested in you “the power” to overthrow any power that got too corrupt.