WHEREAS, some parties in heavily contested custody cases have difficulty communicating with each other to the detriment of the children involved; and
WHEREAS, parenting coordinators have been able to assist parties with communications difficulties to deal with such immediate and short-term issues as minor scheduling changes; and
WHEREAS, some judges in Pennsylvania have made ad hoc appointments of parenting coordinators to assist parties in such custody cases; and
WHEREAS, some Pennsylvania counties have adopted procedures for appointing parenting coordinators; and
WHEREAS, the Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has issued proposed rules establishing qualifications for parenting coordinators; and
WHEREAS, a bill has been introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, House Bill No. 525, Printer's No. 492 ("H.B. 525"), which would, inter alia, forbid judges from appointing parenting coordinators in any custody case in the Commonwealth;
WHEREAS, H.B. 525 raises a potential constitutional issue with regard to the separation of powers.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association opposes the passage of House Bill 525, Printer's No. 492, and any similar legislation that would ban the appointment of parenting coordinators in custody matters in Pennsylvania;
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association authorizes and directs the Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association to take such steps as may be necessary or appropriate to effectuate this Resolution, including communication of its position to the Governor, members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the general public.
PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: May 26, 2011