High parental conflict following divorce is the best predictor of poor adjustment for children dealing with their parents’ divorce. This makes efforts to reduce parental conflict essential in promoting children’s well being.
A Parenting Time Expeditor (PTE) is a neutral person authorized to use a mediation-arbitration process to resolve parenting time disputes. According to Minnesota Statute, "The purpose of a parenting time expeditor is to resolve parenting time disputes by enforcing, interpreting, clarifying, and addressing circumstances not specifically addressed by an existing parenting time order and, if appropriate, to make a determination as to whether the existing parenting time order has been violated."
When a Parenting Time Expeditor is appointed, the process begins by meeting with both parties together. This meeting is administrative in nature and serves to explain the Parenting Time Expeditor process, schedule appointments, identify possible collateral resources, familiarize the PTE with background information, describe the child(ren) involved, review agreements and court orders currently in place, and establish an agenda of items to be addressed.
Subsequent meetings may be conducted with both parents together; each parent alone; with the children (together or separately); with each parent and the children; with new spouses or significant others. These meetings take place in the Parenting Time Expeditor's office. Sometimes it is possible to proceed by phone, e-mail, or written correspondence.
The PTE will always give parents the opportunity to settle their disputes. We believe that parents are in the best position to make decisions about their children and should be assisted in doing so whenever possible. However, it is the PTE's responsibility to make recommendations or decisions when parents are unable to agree about parenting time.