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Colorado Statutes/TITLE 14 DOMESTIC MATTERS/DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE - PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES/ARTICLE 10 UNIFORM DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE ACT/14-10-128.1. Appointment of parenting coordinator.
(1) Pursuant to the provisions of this section, at any time after the entry of an order concerning parental responsibilities and upon notice to the parties, the court may, on its own motion, a motion by either party, or an agreement of the parties, appoint a parenting coordinator as a neutral third party to assist in the resolution of disputes between the parties concerning parental responsibilities, including but not limited to implementation of the court-ordered parenting plan. The parenting coordinator shall be an individual with appropriate training and qualifications and a perspective acceptable to the court.
(2) (a) Absent agreement of the parties, a court shall not appoint a parenting coordinator unless the court makes the following findings:
(I) That the parties have failed to adequately implement the parenting plan;
(II) That mediation has been determined by the court to be inappropriate, or, if not inappropriate, that mediation has been attempted and was unsuccessful; and
(III) That the appointment of a parenting coordinator is in the best interests of the child or children involved in the parenting plan.
(b) In addition to making the findings required pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (2), prior to appointing a parenting coordinator, the court shall consider the effect of any documented evidence of domestic violence on the parties' ability to engage in parent coordination.
(3) A parenting coordinator shall assist the parties in implementing the terms of the parenting plan. Duties of a parenting coordinator include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) Assisting the parties in creating an agreed-upon, structured guideline for implementation of the parenting plan;
(b) Developing guidelines for communication between the parties and suggesting appropriate resources to assist the parties in learning appropriate communication skills;
(c) Informing the parties about appropriate resources to assist them in developing improved parenting skills;
(d) Assisting the parties in realistically identifying the sources and causes of conflict between them, including but not limited to identifying each party's contribution to the conflict, when appropriate; and
(e) Assisting the parties in developing parenting strategies to minimize conflict.
(4) (a) The court may not appoint a person pursuant to this section to serve in a case as a parenting coordinator if the person has served or is serving in the same case as an evaluator pursuant to section 14-10-127 or a representative of the child pursuant to section 14-10-116. After appointing a person pursuant to this section to serve as a parenting coordinator in a case, the court may not subsequently appoint the person to serve in the same case as an evaluator pursuant to section 14-10-127 or a representative of the child pursuant to section 14-10-116.
(b) The court may appoint a person who has served or is serving in a case as a child and family investigator pursuant to section 14-10-116.5 to serve in the same case as the parenting coordinator, upon the agreement of the parties. After appointing a person pursuant to this section to serve as a parenting coordinator in a case, the court may not subsequently appoint the person to serve as a child and family investigator in the same case pursuant to section 14-10-116.5.
(5) A court order appointing a parenting coordinator shall be for a specified term; except that the court order shall not appoint a parenting coordinator for a period of longer than two years. If an order fails to specify the length of the court-ordered appointment, it shall be construed to be two years from the date of appointment. Upon agreement of the parties, the court may extend, modify, or terminate the appointment, including extending the appointment beyond two years from the date of the original appointment. The court may terminate the appointment of the parenting coordinator at any time for good cause. The court shall allow the parenting coordinator to withdraw at any time.
(6) A court order appointing a parenting coordinator shall include apportionment of the responsibility for payment of all of the parenting coordinator's fees between the parties. The state shall not be responsible for payment of fees to a parenting coordinator appointed pursuant to this section.
(7) In a judicial proceeding, administrative proceeding, or other similar proceeding between the parties to the action, a parenting coordinator shall not be competent to testify and may not be required to produce records as to any statement, conduct, or decision, that occurred during the parenting coordinator's appointment, to the same extent as a judge of a court of this state acting in a judicial capacity. Nothing in this subsection (7) shall be construed to prohibit a parenting coordinator from testifying or producing records to the extent testimony or production of records by the parenting coordinator is necessary in an action by the parenting coordinator to collect fees from a party to the action.
(8) The parenting coordinator shall comply with any applicable provisions set forth in chief justice directives and any other practice or ethical standards established by rule, statute, or licensing board that regulates the parenting coordinator.
Source: L. 2005: Entire section added, p. 952, § 1, effective June 2; (4)(b) amended, p. 963, § 11, effective July 1.
Cross references: For the legislative declarations contained in the 2005 act amending subsection (4)(b), see sections 1 and 3 of chapter 244, Session Laws of Colorado 2005.
Law reviews. For article, "Privatizing Family Law Adjudications: Issues and Procedures", see 34 Colo. Law. 95 (August 2005). For article, "Parenting Coordinator: Understanding This New Role", see 35 Colo. Law. 31 (February 2006).