Dr. Koricke is a principal of the Center for Effective Living, which currently has offices in Beachwood, Middleburg Heights, and Rocky River. In addition to serving as a Parent Coordinator, The Center for Effective Living provides many services for children, adolescents, adults, and families both intact and separated. These services are listed at the end of this post.
Most important to our purposes today, Center for Effective Living provides Parent Coordinator services. A Parent Coordinator is appointed by the Court or agreed to by the parents in an Agreed Judgment Entry signed by the Judge. The Court's Order must set forth the instructions to the Parent Coordinator regarding his/her authority, what issues are to be addressed, payment structure, and minimum number of visits (thereby avoiding a party from derailing the process by simple non-attendance). It may also be useful if the Order provides for a party that abuses the process to be required to pay for the Parent Coordinator's time
The goal of using a Parent Coordinator is to curtail repeated returns to the Court. This is hopefully less expensive to the parents than additional post-decree litigation. In addition, using a Parent Coordinator gives a parent one more method to learn to deal with the former partner despite the existence of the problems in the relationship.
Parents utilize the Parent Coordinator after the divorce when an issue arises that they cannot resolve themselves. Instead of filing a post-decree motion with the Court, they engage the Parent Coordinator who meets with the parties and attempts to facilitate an agreement. If the parents do not reach an agreement, the Parent Coordinator may reach a decision that is supposed to be binding on the parents, but it is appealable to the Court.
Parent Coordinators charge a retainer that must be paid in advance by the parties as decreed in the Court's Order. The amount of the retainer may be set in the Order or may be set by the Parent Coordinator based upon the complexity of the case. The Parent Coordinator’s time is billed on an hourly rate against the retainer.
How to Use Parent Coordinator Services Effectively
Dr. Koricke identified the following things that parents can do to make the process of working with a Parent Coordinator more efficient and therefore more cost-effective:
- Bring ALL relevant documentation and supporting documents: For example, if you are alleging problems with school tardiness or attendance, obtain and bring a copy of the report card that shows the attendance or better yet the daily records maintained by the school to demonstrate the dates of the attendance and therefore the parent responsible on those days.
- Do your best to remain open-minded to the process and to the positions of the other parent: If a parent is close-minded or myopic in approach, dismissing every suggestion or belief of the other parent out of hand, the process will not be productive.
- Try to see the forest through the trees and view your own case from a distance: Addressing the parenting issues for your children is much larger than either parent's own ego. While putting this aside is difficult, it is important to see the well-being of your children on the whole.
- Bring the court order that appoints the Parent Coordinator and the court order that is currently in effect regarding custody and visitation of your children.
- Bring any date logs or calendars that you have kept regarding custody and visitation issues
What NOT to do
Dr. Koricke also identified things for parents NOT to do:
- Do NOT communicate with the other parent through the children.
- Do NOT pass notes to the other parent through the children.
- Do NOT have children discuss adult issues with the other parent.
- Do NOT engage extended family members to advocate with your former partner for you.
- Do NOT tattle tale on your former partner to extended family members.
- Do NOT involve your former partner's co-workers or boss in your domestic issues.
- Do NOT use social media such as Facebook or MySpace to bash your former partner.
- Do NOT post anything on social media that you would not want held against you in Court or in a custody evaluation.
- Comprehensive counseling and psychiatric services.
- Forensic evaluations.
- Reunification after parental alienation or after other significant lapse of time. Reunification can be with a parent or extended family.
- Parent coaching.
- Mediation on non-financial issues
- Home studies for adoptions and custody evaluations
- Psychological testing for diagnosing ADHD and related conditions, learning disabilities, worker's compensation, post-stroke evaluation, determination of child's status as a "gifted" child.
Forensic evaluations are a tool commonly used by the Domestic and Juvenile Courts to aid in the determination of what custodial arrangement is in the best interest of the minor child or children. Forensic evaluations are also used for guardianship and some criminal matters. The Center for Effective Living will travel domestically or internationally as needed to complete the evaluation.
Parent Coaching services may be utilized by separating families or intact families. The participation of both parties aids in effectively addressing the situation. Parent Coaching services are routinely used to address parenting issues which may arise out of the breakdown of the family or also from the challenges of raising special needs children.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Koricke or another provider with the Center for Effective Living or for more information on their services, click here.