As a fairly new mediator and Parenting Time Consultant and Expediter, I have to say that this system is just as hard to navigate as it was from the perspective of someone who has gone through the system on the other side. New mediators are not rotated on the roster as they are supposed to be. Judges use the same old set in t heir ways Parenting Consultants as they have always used. Lawyers will “suggest” you use an experienced one. Again, the same stale brained person. The problem, as I see it, is that the people creating the rules, creating the programs, training all of the other PCs and PTEs. They don’t share new ideas. They don’t ask advice from psychologists about the effect of their rules and programs on families. How can we expect the system to change if the only way to get new players is to wait until they just plain get too old to do it anymore, some of whom will never think they are too old…ever.
I try to be diplomatic when it comes to this system. I want to believe that the powers that be really think they are helping people. I try to believe that they are misguided and don’t set out with evil intent. The problem is that when you get someone new like me, the regulars will not want the newbie to get clients. They will tell you, “Oh, you can’t use her. She has little experience.” Guardians, Parenting Consultants and expediters, do not have a say in who you pick, although certain players convince you that they do have that power. This is unacceptable.
I think that people seeking the help of a parenting consultant or expediter should consider choosing a PC or PTE without much experience. This way you can see someone who has the training fresh in their mind and bring a new perspective to your case and the system. The regulars don’t want to see someone else come in and shake things up so they try many tactics to make sure you choose someone they know.
If you hate the way this system works, let’s work for change. Give new mediators a chance. Talk to them and see why they got into mediation and parenting consulting in the first place. If it sounds good to you and they seem sincere on being a helper and not a hindrance to you, give them a chance. I will have a hard time getting clients because the system hates people who question them and the Family Court “in” crowd won’t want be helpful to outsiders.
No matter what, tread carefully when choosing one of these professionals. If at all possible, add an out to the contract you sign with a PC or PTE. Have it say, either party can terminate the relationship with the Parenting consultant so that, you can choose a different person to fill that role. You don’t want to be stuck with the old or the new PC/PTE if they are not the right person for the job.
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