A Parenting Consultant (PC) is also a parenting neutral appointed by the Court but, because the authority of a PC is broader than a PTE, the parties must agree on the appointment. The Court cannot appoint a Parenting Consultant without the consent of both parents.
Much like a PTE, the most common issues addressed by a PC relate to parenting time. However, a Parenting Consultant also has the authority to modify a parenting schedule, temporarily or permanently, if the PC feels the modification is in the best interests of the child or children. A Parenting Time Expeditor is limited by what is in the Court Order, so a party seeking a change in the parenting schedule needs to go to Court to ask for the changes they want.
The PC may also make decisions regarding medical issues, school placement, daycare selection and extra-curricular activities, among other things. A PTE does not have any authority over these issues, so the parties would need to go back to Court to resolve disputes.
Lastly, the PTE process is confidential, which means that the PTE cannot be called into Court to explain a decision or be called as a witness for either party. The Parenting Time Expeditor cannot communicate anything about the process to anyone except the parties unless both parties agree. This includes either party’s attorney.
The Parenting Consulting process is not confidential. A PC can be called as a witness in Court and can testify about facts involved in a disputed issue.