I just discovered (through personal experience) that Nevada can refer “high conflict” parenting cases to a “parenting coordinator” (also called a friend of the court or family court advisor in other jurisdictions).
A parenting coordinator is a licensed family therapist whose duties are to: 1) educate parents on communication and the damage that conflict does to children, 2) monitor compliance with custody agreements and 3) arbitrate disputes. The latter is the most controversial. The parenting coordinator will listen to both sides of the case and then make recommendations for resolving issues. However, unlike traditional therapy, these recommendations are passed on to the court – they are not privileged or confidential. The parents are also asked to sign an agreement to be bound by the coordinator’s recommendations unless they are over-turned by the court.
At $150 an hour (split 50:50 by the parties) the use of a parenting coordinator is considerably cheaper than using lawyers for litigation in court. It also frees up the court’s time that would otherwise be spent on relatively trivial issues.
As I approach my first parenting coordinator (PC) experience I am cautiously optimistic. The PC will have more time to listen to both sides of the case (unlike the judge) and will hopefully call my ex-wife on some of her destructive behavior. I will reserve my doubts until I can report back later on the experience.