Legal Information: Oklahoma


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.* 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.*1 Even if the judge appoints a coordinator, the judge has the final say on things like custody, visitation and child support.*2

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.*3

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.*4

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