Areas of expertise include the following:
Dispute Resolution Services
- Child Inclusive Mediation
- Child Assessment
- Parenting Consulting
- Parenting Time Expediting (PTE)
Child Inclusive Mediation
This service combines two components we know to be crucial to the post-separation and divorce adjustment of children. Child-inclusive mediation and counseling helps parents to refocus on the needs and development of their children by utilizing information provided by a child expert who has met parents and child(ren) within a therapeutic mediation process.
This service is useful for: Parents who desire to refocus on the best interests of the child and make decisions based on that perspective.
Child assessments may be conducted as part of child-inclusive mediation, prior to initiating therapy, or in other situations to help parents make decisions while considering the voice of their child(ren). Such assessments are conducted by neutral evaluators who have skills and experience in child development, family dynamics, and family court process.
This service is useful for: Parents who are interested in addressing the needs of their child(ren) as expressed in an emotionally safe, child-friendly, neutral environment. It can be helpful in situations such as, but not limited to; determining whether or not a child warrants therapeutic support, addressing possible parenting time changes, helping to determine the impact of a possible out-of-state move for one parent, and in blending families.
The role of a parenting consultant in Minnesota is one of several alternative dispute resolution options for parents to utilize rather than going back to court. Parents must agree (stipulate) to have a parenting consultant who typically will work with them for two or more years to help resolve disagreements over matters such as parenting time, extracurricular activities, and, sometimes, school attendance as well as any other disagreements with which they seek the help of the parenting consultant. The role of PC is created by a state rule rather than a statute, with the scope of the parenting consultant being determined by Court Order. The scope may range from broad to narrow, according to parent wishes. A parenting consultant begins work with parents only after having received an appointment by Court Order and having a fee agreement with parents and retainers from each parent in place.
This service is useful for: Parents who want support in working to reach agreement while also seeking time-limited resolution through arbitration. It is most helpful if parents want to improve the way they work together while not extending periods of disagreement.
Parenting Time Expediting (PTE)
After parents divorce in Minnesota, there are several options available to them for alternative dispute resolution. In families where there has been no documented abuse, parents may choose or the Court may appoint a Parenting Time Expediter (PTE). This role is defined by Minnesota Statute 518.1751. If parents are unable to reach an agreement or compromise in a dispute about parenting time (formerly known as “visitation”), one or both may request that the PTE make a decision. While that decision would be binding, if a parent wishes to appeal the matter, that parent may do so according to a well-defined process. Parenting time is the only matter that may be brought to a PTE, unless both parents sign an agreement to have their PTE address an issue in another domain.
This service is useful for: A Parenting Time Expediter is a reasonable choice for parents who want a neutral decision-maker for parenting time only and no other aspect of parenting.