Assisting Parents in Resolving Their Disputes

Sometimes, conflict between parents is so great that they need the intervention of a qualified third party to help them make decisions and, in some cases, to make decisions for them. There are two options for this in the family court field: a parenting time expeditor and a parenting consultant.

  • Parenting Time Expeditor (PTE). This is a court-appointed neutral who is given the authority to resolve parenting time disputes under guidelines established under Minn. Stat. §518.1751. The PTE is to work with the parties to arrive at a resolution of the dispute as a mediator. If this is unsuccessful, the PTE makes a binding decision. The powers of the PTE are limited and every decision can be challenged by a motion to the court. Everything the PTE does is confidential and cannot be shared with the court. A court order is necessary for a PTE to act.
  • Parenting Consultant (PC). The PC is a creation of parents and attorneys who wanted to use a neutral with greater powers than a PTE. Standards of practice have developed over time which allow a PC to make all kinds of parenting decisions (although usually not changes of custody or child support). The mediation-arbitration model is used and the decision of the PC is binding unless reversed by the court after a motion. The PC is allowed to share information with the court. Every PC appointment is done under a court order and the parents can negotiate what specific issues the PC will have the power to decide. A court order is necessary for a PC to act.

I have extensive experience as both a PTE and a PC. If you or your attorneys are considering appointing me, I would appreciate a call with some background information to see if I am a good fit for the case. Every ADR neutral has his/her own style and mine is not appropriate for every case. I also like to have some input on the terms of the order appointing me.

Contact Mike Black For More Information

To speak to me, contact my firm via email or phone. A short phone conversation will likely help you understand your options and what next steps are available. Call my St. Paul office at 651-222-2587.