Legal Information: Oklahoma

Custody

Updated: 
April 25, 2018

What is a parenting coordinator and do I have to get one?

If you are involved in a divorce or custody case that involves a minor child (under the age of 18), the judge may (but doesn’t have to) appoint a parenting coordinator to help figure out the family issues and have both sides come to an agreement.1 The parenting coordinator will suggest to the judge what s/he thinks is best for the child and the terms you were all able to come to an agreement about. If you object to the parenting coordinator’s report/suggestions, you can file an objection within 10 days of receiving this report, which will be reviewed by the judge.2 Even if the judge appoints a coordinator, the judge has the final say on things like custody, visitation and child support.3

The judge may appoint a coordinator on his/her own or you or the other parent may file a motion to have a parenting coordinator appointed to your case. However, if you or the other parent objects to having a parenting coordinator appointed, the court will not appoint one unless:

  • there is a lot of conflict (disagreements) between the parents; and
  • the judge thinks that the coordinator is in the best interest of the child.4

Parenting coordinators are paid for by the parents. The court may decide that the parents pay based on their income or the judge can order a different amount per parent if the judge believes there is “good cause” to do so. The state will not pay for a parenting coordinator. The judge may appoint a coordinator to serve on a volunteer basis in cases where the judge feels that a coordinator is necessary and the parties cannot afford one.5

1 43 O.S. § 120.3(A)
2 43 O.S. § 120.4(A),(C),(D)
3 43 O.S. § 120.3(C)(2)
4 43 O.S. § 120.3(A),(B)(1)&(2)
5 43 O.S. § 120.5