Illinois Supreme Court Adopts Rules for Parenting Coordinators

Posted by Erin Birt | Jul 05, 2023 | 0 Comments


Illinois Supreme Court Adopts Rules for Parenting Coordinators

Attention parents and prospective parents: the Illinois Supreme Court has adopted new rules for parenting coordinators. The state's highest court announced the new Rule 909, which creates a framework for the state's legal system to implement parenting coordinators to rectify problems that lead to conflict in family law battles.

Rule 909, initially proposed by the state's bar association, received unanimous approval, setting the stage for all judicial circuits to create programs for parenting coordination. Cook County and other circuits have already developed such programs. The purpose of the new rule is to help improve child quality of life amidst parental divorce.

If you are like most parents, you understandably lack a thorough comprehension of legalese, meaning an explanation of the role of parenting coordinators is necessary. Here's a quick look at the role of parenting coordinators and why they have become so important for Chicago families and divorced parents with children.

What Is a Parenting Coordinator?

Parenting coordination is a form of alternative dispute resolution parents use, either through the court system or without judicial intervention, to surmount parenting conflicts. The assistance of a parent coordinator makes it that much easier for parents plagued by conflict to:

  • Bypass the court system.
  • Create mutually beneficial parenting plans.
  • Pave a path toward the optimal co-parenting setup by clearly establishing parenting responsibilities and communication.

However, the route toward reduced stress for kids and parents has slightly changed as a result of the recent Illinois Supreme Court rule change for parenting coordinators.

How Best To Use a Parenting Coordinator

Lean on a parenting coordinator for guidance, and your child will emerge from your divorce or other family conflict in a position to succeed as a student and also in life. Your parenting coordinator's expertise in defusing parental conflicts helps clarify the complex legalese of parenting orders and agreements, making it easier for co-parents to communicate for the benefit of the child and ultimately reach a compromise that is pro-child.

Maintain an open mind when interacting with your parenting coordinator, and you'll receive invaluable assistance regarding the best approach to fulfill your child's needs for both psychological and developmental improvement that otherwise might be impeded by parental conflict. Moreover, open-mindedness when interacting with a parent coordinator helps resolve drama and conflict in a timely and mutually beneficial manner.

Parenting coordinators are especially skillful in artfully and fairly resolving conflicts pertaining to parenting plans to decrease the harmful conflict that arises between co-parents. Make prudent use of the intellect and service of your parenting coordinator, and you'll improve your child's quality of life while simultaneously decreasing the potential for subsequent re-litigation that only fans the flames of family drama and conflict all the more.

Moreover, if you are already divorced and have a matrimonial settlement agreement, parenting court order, custody order, visitation order, or other order in place, the parenting coordinator will provide monitoring for full compliance. This professional serves as a guide, decision-maker, and binding arbitrator (in some cases) for order enforcement, ensuring each parent honors his or her responsibilities.

If additional assistance is necessary, the parenting coordinator will provide referrals to mental health therapists, a family law attorney in Chicago or throughout Illinois, a family mediator, or a divorce coach.

Why Parents Need a Parenting Coordinator Now

If you are in the midst of a divorce or considering divorce and have a child, you should use a parenting coordinator without delay. Do not wait for the inevitable drama to arise that compromises your child's educational performance, ability to socialize, and overall well-being. Take the alternative dispute resolution route of parenting coordination that strictly focuses on your child's welfare, and you'll receive the benefit of guidance from a licensed mental health professional or a family law expert designated by the court.

A parenting coordinator also helps in the context of child development during this potentially tumultuous period. Whether you are in the midst of a divorce, already divorced, separated or combative with your spouse or co-parent, it is in your interest to recognize such conflict negatively affects child development. The parenting coordinator teaches communication skills, provides conflict resolution solutions to minimize emotion as well as parent outbursts, and ultimately helps make the child or children in the family as safe as possible.

Be proactive, obtain the assistance of a parenting coordinator, and you'll find this professional provides both broad guidance and highly specific assistance in the minutia of your child's life. Aside from the assistance noted above, parenting coordinators also provide specific assistance in regard to the following and more:

  • Coordinating child pickups and drop-offs
  • Holiday scheduling
  • Child discipline
  • Changes to parenting time
  • Child participation in extracurricular activities
  • The child's personal/health challenges

Moreover, if the court order or marital settlement agreement notes other specific issues that fall under the purview of the parenting coordinator, this professional will deftly address those responsibilities in the spirit of promoting family harmony and child well-being.

Parenting Coordinators are often involved with a family for 3,6,12, or 24 months depending on the court order or agreement of the parents.  A good parenting coordinator should prepare parents for success so that they move on from the parenting coordinator's services after a period of time.

Schedule a Consultation With Our Parenting Coordinator atThe Law Firm of Erin N. Birt (Birt Family Law)

Are you embroiled in a dispute with a current spouse, ex-spouse, or co-parent? Are you considering a new marriage, or divorce, or seeking custody of a child? The quality of your parenting coordinator in Illinois is just as important as the facts of your unique family conflict.

Birt Family Law is here to help. Reach out to us today at 630-891-2478 to schedule free 15 min call.



About the Author

Erin Birt

Since 2003, Erin N. Birt, J.D., CADC has focused her practice on parenting time, divorce, mediation, and substance abuse issues. Ms. Birt's unique background in both family law and addictions counseling help her clients successfully navigate the complex issues of coparenting and divorce. Ms. Birt also devotes her time to presenting at continuing education seminars for attorneys, mediators, and counselors.


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