Do You Recommend Your Parenting Consultant or PTE?


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I created my first website, I had a page called, “Rate Your PC”.  My plan was to collect information on all Parenting Consultants in Minnesota so we could find out if there were any good ones, and keep the good ones in business while weeding out the bad ones.  At the time, my attitude about being a PC was, “Hell NO!”  I NEVER wanted to inflict that kind of damage on a family.  Period.

After working as a coach, it turned out that most of my clients came to me for help dealing with their parenting consultant and hostile co-parent.  I blogged about PCs and people would find me because of that.  After a while, I decided that I really needed to write a book because all of the questions were the same: “How do you get rid of a parenting consultant (coordinator)?” “Why won’t they do something about my ex?”  “How did I become the bad guy in all of this?”  “Can you file a complaint against a PC?”  All of these questions and more are covered in my book, “The Parenting Consultant Nightmare”

As part of my research for the book, I attending the training to be a Parenting Consultant.  Don’t think for a moment that my stomach wasn’t queasy.  It was.  I attended the Parenting Time expediter training as well, even though it was facilitated by my former PTE and PC.  I think she was much more intimidated than I was.  Because the training was pretty good, I did decide to offer these services.  It’s something I struggle with all the time.  Is it the right thing to do?  If you have any feedback on the question, I hope you’ll either comment after the post, or send in a contact form through the website.  Many clients tell me they want me to offer those services because I “get it”.  Still, if I am their coach, I cannot be their PC.  Anyway, having attended the training, and offering PC services, made me rethink that “Rate your PC” page.  Not because I felt hypocritical in collecting the data, and not because I have become “one of them”, but because I realized it was not giving me what I was looking for.

Being a friend to parents who deal with  high conflict co-parenting situations is not easy.  I can help you with many things, and I have succeeded in empowering people into making the system work better for them, but I cannot make the situation go away completely. If you have a co-parent who is always on the attack, they are going to stay on the attack, however, if you are empowered, their interest in you tends to decrease significantly.  The less reactive you are, the less they continue to try.  So I have had to rethink and shift gears as I learn more about the issue from the viewpoint of the parenting consultants or parenting coordinators, and what works for you and what doesn’t and have changed my approach somewhat.  I decided to stop collecting that data and had good reasons to stop collecting it.

One reason was that I did not get any good reviews.  If anyone has had a parenting consultant or parent coordinator on your case, that makes sense.  You would not expect to find anyone who knows how to manage these high conflict cases.  But are there really no good ones?  Typically, people are willing to take time reporting a negative, but rarely will report a positive.  I’d like to find out there are some good ones available, but it did not look like anyone would let me know that aspect.

Another reason  I quit collecting data is because people are afraid.  They are not going to turn in that information unless they know me and trust me.  Let’s face it, those of you in high conflict cases involving a PC just do not trust anyone.  You end up wondering where the information goes and who does it go to and worry that you may not stay anonymous?  My clients do learn they can trust me, and that I am not “one of them (PCs)” so through my daily work I can learn who the good and bad PCs are.  Again, no good PCs to report, but if you had someone who actually decreased the conflict, why would you be looking for a website, blog or coach to tell that story to?  Most likely, you would just go about living life, quite happily, I might add.  I still like to hold out hope that there are some out there.

Since I no longer collect information about PCs,  I want to share with you a website where you can write a review of your parenting consultant, parenting coordinator or parenting time expediter.  It has been around for a while, but the owner of the site  is not really going through those court issues anymore, from what I understand, and so I don’t think the owner does much with the site anymore.  That makes it harder to find when searching on the internet.  You can help move it up in the searches by adding reviews. The reviews are listed as a Parenting Time Expediter directory, but most PTEs also work as PCs.

For anyone who wants to write a review of their court professional, please do so on that directory site.  I think it would be an excellent resource for parents who need to choose a PC or PTE, whether the first time appointing one, or if the old one has left the case and they need to appoint someone new.  If you have anyone to report on, please do it at:

www.mnparent.org

I hope that we can raise awareness about that site so that people can come away with options for who to appoint and not to appoint.  Remember, it is important to share who the good guys are.  It’s not just about the bad guys!

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39 thoughts on “Do You Recommend Your Parenting Consultant or PTE?

  1. Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content.
    Please let me know. Thank you

    Like

  2. needing help

    I have a PC that has devastated me. I do have anxiety and depression, but she told me I was a control freak, “you have mental problems”, I will order you to have a psych eval, “do you even get what I am saying, tell me what I just told you” She told me it’s now of my business what she is doing with my case. My child has mental health issues too, yet she is saying we have to do things, yet hasn’t met them. I have no trust in her and feel I can’t bring any issue to her. I don’t know who to connect for help. Any advise would be appreciated!

    Like

    1. Most people are devastated by Parenting Consultants. I am here to talk if you would like to call. My number is 763-566-2282. It is always a free phone consult so you have nothing to lose. I will warn you that I work as a Parenting Consultant on a few PC cases, but I try to be non meddling, and always ensure that people know exactly what the role is before signing on. I want to be available for those already ordered to have a PC, but prevent any family from the nightmare when they are not yet under court order to have one I get calls because I am a low cost, out spoken PC. That gives me an opportunity to speak with people before they go down the PC path. My hope is that we get the role banned in Minnesota soon. The more people willing to come forward, the better! I am working on putting together a town hall event with Representative Peggy Scott and a few other Minnesota legislators. I hope you can attend. I will post details here on the blog once we have everything set. You are welcome to come in and listen to some other parents who are willing to share their horror stories.

      I am not sure if you saw that I wrote a book, “The Parenting Consultant Nightmare”. That might help you. It is a little outdated now because things change very quickly in the Family Courts, however, some things, such as the devastation inflicted on families does not change. I know that it feels like prison. You are not mentally ill. You are dealing with a horrific, crazy-making situation, one that no one should be subjected to. You were most likely lied to or intimidated into signing on with a PC and not told how much it would cost, or how much they would intrude in your life.

      I have had some success helping people boost their confidence and understand what PC’s do. I can help you do what you have to do for your child, and see if you have any wiggle room to reign any of this in. I do hope you’ll give me a call. Odds are pretty good that I am familiar with the tactics of your particular PC. Some of the power they have over you is an illusion, created to frighten you. It is true that they can order psych evals, but we may be able to turn things around so it doesn’t become necessary.

      Hang in there! You and your child will get through it!

      Like

  3. Marie

    I have a PC right now and she is stepping in when she shouldn’t be. I’m completely confused have no idea there even issues that she’s bringing up to my attention. She’s creating more dramas on top of my ex that I’m already dealing with. WTF not only that she’s ruling things out against the court order trying to take what I have my rights to my kids. Unbelievable. PC is a bad idea. Now I have to deal with the ex and the PC…not cool.

    Like

      1. Hi Marie,

        There is nothing worse than life with a PC. Often, all they are is a weapon against you. Just for full disclosure, I do some limited PC work, but will always try and let people know the truth about PCs and talk them out of it when I can. For those who are already stuck, I offer the services. I do work as a Coach and have separated that from my mediation business. You can check that out here:

        http://www.lifelessonsbysusan.com

        There, you will find I have also written a book called, “The Parenting Consultant Nightmare”. If you’d like to talk sometime, or are interested in coaching, I can help you make a huge difference. I’d also be interested in knowing who your PC is. You can email me at lifelessonsbysusan@gmail.com. I offer case reviews, and can help people turn their court cases around pretty quickly. My most recent client went from losing custody to getting back 50-50 in just 3 weeks! I have references who can attest to how helpful I am since I also had a PC for 8 years! I know both sides of it. If you need my number, it is 763-486-6906.

        Also, some lawyers get kickbacks for recommending certain PCs, and some even have contracts with each other. You lawyer should have given you every option to prevent this. I bet he or she never told you that if you did not agree to have a PC the court could not appoint one. They never do!

        If you’d like to do a review of your PC, you can do so at a website http://www.mnparent.org

        Keep the faith!

        Like

  4. My Kids Mom

    I just wanted to make everyone aware that the mnparent.org directory has removed all ratings and although I have tried to give a one star, simply stating that I do not recommend this individual, they are not posting negatives so although it’s a great concept, if they are not allowing or approving negative comments in any way, it is not a reliable resource.

    Susan, do you have any other resource available for so many parents that deal with biased and incompetent parenting consultants and parenting time expeditor?

    Thanks!

    Like

    1. I don’t have any other sources currently. I have not had issues with MNParent.org. Did they say they will not post the comment? I know the guy who runs it and he does have everything pending just because one of the PCs sons has been attacking him and constantly posts weird crap so now they have to approve all ratings before they post.

      Like

  5. hello everyone,
    I am in a search of a balanced PC.
    I will not vent off about the previous one, just will mention that among many blunders, in a baffling way, she was against the Court Order’s “right of first refusal,” and she couldn’t handle Google maps, which lead to some disastrous results for the child.
    Perusing the Internet to find names and direct contact proved to be very difficult, but I stumbled upon this blog; I am hoping that the moderator and/or any of you might share information about a PC, who is not gender-biased and able to navigate in a balanced way between two parents, who have difficult time communicating directly with each other.
    Thank you in advance for any information!

    Like

    1. In my opinion, the male PCs do a much better job. I also do limited PC work, and I am nonmeddling. I will do what is necessary, but also do not want families to be consumed by court processes. I will utilize coaches when possible.

      I think the problem is that the process is highly intrusive, and it is based on each individual’s knowledge of conflict, relationships, child development, boundaries, communication and relationships. Because of this, there really aren’t any out there that I feel confident recommending. It is a crap shoot, but like I said, the men are often better. They don’t get as sucked into the drama as the woman.

      If anyone has some names they are looking at, they can run them by me and I can tell what I know. You can email me through my coaching business at lifelessonsbysusan@gmail.com or if you are looking for my PC info, email susan@lifesdoorsmediation.

      Like

    1. Danielle

      My family had to deal with Judy Sherwood for 18 LOOONG months – she finally resigned when I presented her with what I had put together for the Ethics Board.

      Like

    2. concernedParent

      DO NOT use Judy Sherwood. Run the other way if someone recommends her. Not only is she highly unethical but her qualifications are questionable at best. If she is your custody evaluator, make sure you video tape every session, home visit, etc. or have your atty present during interviews if possible.

      Like

      1. tomtenknits

        Judy Sherwood is the worst. The damage she has done to my children cannot be undone. She is crazy. For example, she said I was an unfit parent to my boys because I had fertility treatment. Do not allow her into your life

        Like

    3. Marian

      I am 100% agree with you, I lived an abused relationship with 2 kids and she screw up her report everything against me. she never took her time to investigate deeply my case. now I am about to lose my kids custody. I feel very devastated, not imaging losing my kids. I should see this comment long time ago.

      Like

  6. N Johnson

    The worst Hennepin County Evaluator is Susan Johnson. She is biased towards women and usually sides with the men. She is unethical, rude and has no class. I filed a complaint on her and others were in line. I then had an just as bad experience with Matthew Shore from Moxie this man made the worst decision for my daughter and she is now suffering. Its a long story but the man is a complete joke does not follow and MN statutory guideline as he should and my family and I are beside ourselves. This jokester recommended my daughter to go school over 40 miles away from me and the entire rest of her family and friends she knows and in kindergarten all because her father moved in with his girlfriend. So after 4 months he split up with his “long term” supposed girlfriend and moved a couple blocks away from our daughters school. In the meantime she is stuck over 40 miles away from everybody she knows except her father now all because Matthew believed my ex was soo “stable” and he didn’t want changes in her future..what a joke there was no stability I had stability as I had tried to explain to him but I was always dismissed.
    http://www.moxieinc.com/matthew-shore
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/sue-johnson-ma-lmft-92848123
    Sue Johnson, MA, LMFT
    Alternative Dispute Resolution Professional
    Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul AreaAlternative Dispute Resolution
    Hennepin County Family Court Services

    Like

    1. I help a lot of parents work better with their PCs. I do see moms make some mistakes with how they communicate with PCs and the things they ask for. If you are interested in learning about my services, send me an email at lifelessonsbysusan@gmail.com.

      I have had some good reports about Mathhew Shore, and some not so good. Moxie is THE go to facility in Minnesota. Phoenix was another one, but has now become traverse counseling and not as focused on PC work. Thanks for writing about Susan Johnson. She is a bad evaluator. Nancy Darcy is another bad one. Best not to hire either of them! Unfortunately, most people don’t find out until after they contract with these professionals.

      Like

      1. Amanda

        Yes Nancy Darcy and Mathew Shore where horrible and I or my attorney didn’t find out how irresponsible they were until after the fact. There suggestion was to reduce my parenting time from an abusive controlling father with all the documents to prove it. I’m dumbfounded and in shocked with their lack of professionalism and sense of what was best for our child was neglect in itself. WOW what a joke and waste of money. AVOID THESE TWO AT ALL COST!

        Like

  7. Nancy Darcy is not only the most unprofessional “therapist” I have ever encountered, or could have even imagined, but I believe she herself has some kind of sociopathic type of disorder–for there is not explanation for how sloppy, biased, and intentionally one-sidedly destructive her process and “assessments” are. She must have some kind of strategy that drives her decisions to ensure she continues to keep the right lawyers and other court affiliates in her corner to get the business. She did not care one bit about our kids–couldn’t even remember their names. She latched onto my ex and her attorney because she could tell that was were the likely “win” was and I had the money to pay. Disgusting. And it is REAL damage to families and children. She is not helpful, not in the least. She is a leech who has no problem that her “reports” destroy human beings. Run, don’t walk, away from this woman.

    Like

    1. Anthony

      Agree, Nancy Darcy is not only no parenting evalutation expert, but she is an unethical human being and her character is questionable all around, she is a horror and will ABSOLUTLEY damage your kids and Family. Financial bloodsucker and just a nightmare that you will wish you could wake up from but can’t. The courts should remove this archaic damaging process entirely…One gets a divorce and that alone then equates to allowing a random stranger to spend a few hours and make decisions about your kids and family and what is best for them!? Because you are divorcing? There is no crime committed here! Yet that’s what it us like 100%. And no jury, no trial, no questioning or challenging or examining credibility or neutrality. No accountability no standards no oversight no regulation. They do as they wish when they want how they want and then produce this magical report that is accepted as truth without any examination or questioning. And yes…in a court, in the judicial branch of the United States of America. There is no due process, violations to count of the Constitutional rights and its principles and of our civil and human rights individidually and as parents. It is no joke. It is exactly this way…so beware, I was way too naive and did not believe it would even be possible in our country but it is.

      And NANCY DARCY AND JAMIE MANNING, are the worst of the worst. Nancy should not be permitted to continue in this role or in any psychological service in the state, interestingly she went through a terribly contentious divorce and has a definite hatred of men and fathers and is out to get them be clear. She has an ax to grind no doubt, and…no parent out there would “pass” the malicious process of “custody evaluations” by Nancy or any other. Including Nancy herself. Also a hypocite, as we learned she had some significant and questionable parenting issues in her own life as a mother that would have led to her condemning herself and leading to damage to her personal repulsion and credibility and a dissection of her own parenting ability and likelynresuted in limitations on their own mothering and custody,

      And Jamie Manning is all the same as above….but worse. DO NOT ALLOW THESE TWO TO INFECT YOUR FAMILY AT ALL COSTS. Settle settle settle or you WILL regret it. These two are rogue, corrupt, unethical evil and out of control

      Like

      1. I agree about Nancy Darcy and Jamie Manning.

        People often look at the Constitutionality of these things inaccurately. The Constitution is protection from the Government, but divorce is a matter of citizen vs. citizen. That is why it is called “domestic relations”. The difference is, in criminal court, that would be the state vs citizen and you as the citizen are afforded certain protections under the law, but the law is “unbiased” when helping one citizen over the other in family court. That is why parental rights are not recognized in the way you are thinking about it. It is one right to one child that is distributed between two parents. To Family Court, it doesn’t matter if one or the other parent holds that right or how it is distributed between the two. If they are not taking it from BOTH parents and giving it to a third party, they are not technically taking the child away from parentS. When people enter Family Court, it is not where they are sitting at home, minding their own business and the Government comes to the door saying, “Hey, give us those kids!”. No, Family Court is where one or the other parent or Both are saying that. That is why it is a different animal. Although, legal custody is presumed to be joint in Minnesota because of fundamental parental rights. Still, that is rebuttable, too. It is hard to explain it well in writing. Also, and I know you were commenting on a Custody Eval, but PCs would be unconstitutional if courts just appointed them, but they get parents to “agree” to it. In my book, I list all the Appellate and Supreme court cases related to PCs and PTEs.

        Like

  8. Anonymous

    Do not use Jeffrey Postuma as a PC. He was supposed to facilitate parenting time, and it is 11 months later with nothing to show and I’m trying to have him removed. He made my parenting time reserved, made us pay for reunification therapy even though it was unnecessary, made communication worse, and didn’t sanction the other parent’s husband for making harassing comments in from of the children and not obeying parenting time instructions at our children’s activities. He took my money about these issues, and when I said I was to litigate a financial issue at his request, and planned on bringing up the other issues in court, he stated to wait for the court order. When the court order didn’t go according to plan, he stated that he thought it was a waste of money and time, and although he was supposed to have made a ruling on those other non-financial issues, he is requesting more money. It’s a scam, it really is.

    Like

  9. Anonymous

    For our child, Judy Sherwood was a great PC. She was objective, would get back to you fast and greatly facilitated the process. In fact, the two years she was involed in our case were the easiest over the past many years of turmoil. I am very grateful to her and would recommend her to anyone.

    Like

    1. highconflictu

      Thank you for adding a positive comment! We do not get enough of those, quite frankly. It often boils down to how you approach the process and if you are cooperating for the benefit of your child.

      Like

    2. Marian

      about Judy Sherwood. I am not agree, that’s good that your case went good, maybe you paid her fees. unfortunately, she is not partial. my ex was obligated to pay her fees. and guess who got the credit? she listened most of my ex allegations (all his lies!!!) with out PROBES!… however, I was very honest with her. she told me that I was a depressed and stress person. well, to pay my lawyer fees and other extra expenses I was working a full time job and 2 partial jobs. I applied for assistance and I was rejected so I had to work hard as good citizen and pay taxes. this woman was not objective, she didn’t get the point that I left my abused relationship. she just expressed totally negative about me. TOTALLY NOT RECOMMEND NEITHER TO MY WORST ENEMY THIS PERSON!

      Like

  10. Jessica Dill

    What do you know about Jennifer Joseph? She is working on a case for a friend and things move very slow and she doesn’t seem to follow up quickly. This is a very conflict oriented divorce

    Like

    1. TeamHCU

      Hi Jessica,

      Jennifer Joseph is one of the trainers now so has a great deal of experience. I saw her as very fair in the early days, but I think as PCs grow their practice, they can get caught up in other outside interests and sometimes sour on the parents inability to get past the negative and try moving forward in a positive way. My thoughts are that the problem really stems from parents who do not understand what is expected from them or why no one cares if your ex is a bad guy. PCs really keep you in the dark about what they are doing and there are several reasons why. One is that they do not want to appear to be giving you legal advice. High Conflict U (a partner of Life’s Doors Mediation and Program of Discover Your Piece LLC) offers you information. For such an intrusive role as that of PC, parents should have a great understanding of what PCs do. I have authored the Parenting Coordinator and Consultant Survival Guide, which is currently going through review on Amazon. Once it is fully ready, I will post the link to it here. Also, just so you know, the PC process can operate very slowly no matter who the PC is. It really depends on the heart of the issue and what can be done about it. Most issues directly stem from the conflict between the parents and most PCs think that therapy is the answer to that. Sometimes it is, but sometimes parents need education and tools that help them function with a rigid ex more than anything. We give that to you at Discover Your Piece and High Conflict U. Susan Carpenter (me) from Life’s Doors mediation is a founder of DYP and HCU, slowly working to get parents over there instead of looking to PCs for the answers. On the DYP coaching site, scroll down to the section on Divorce and Conflict Coaching, which is available to anyone in the US and much cheaper than a PC. It can also help you save money on a PC by knowing how to approach the situation for maximum results. If your friend wants to call, it is always a free consult (800) 516-2446 or locally (763) 515-4255. She could email, too: TeamDYP@gmail.com.

      Like

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