The role of the parenting coordinator is to help parents in working together to resolve parenting disputes and to make recommendations to the court if the parents are unable to reach an agreement. In Maricopa County, the court maintains a list of individuals who have met the required qualifications and are approved to serve as parenting coordinators.
In 2015, the Arizona Supreme Court assembled a committee to review and make recommendations to the rule governing parenting coordinators, Rule 74, Arizona Family Law and Procedure. On August 27, 2015, the Supreme Court adopted revisions to Rule 74. The new Rule went into effect on January 1, 2016 and will apply to all parenting coordinator appointments after January 1. For all cases in which a parenting coordinator was appointed prior to January 1, 2016, then the appointment will be governed by the prior version of Rule 74 for the remaining term of the appointment.
The changes to Rule 74 are as follows:
- A parenting coordinator can only be appointed by agreement of the parties. The court can no longer appoint a parenting coordinator on its own.
- The parties’ agreement appointing the parenting coordinator must include a provision that the parties understand how the parenting coordinator bills for services, and include the hourly rate that that the parents can afford the services.
- A parenting coordinator’s recommendations are binding and may only be overturned if the parenting coordinator exceeded the scope of their authority.
- The parties agreement must state the method by which the parenting coordinator will be chosen or the name of the agreed upon parenting coordinator.