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Retired Judges Can Serve as Parent Coordinators According to Appellate Division

A party appealed a trial court's decision that permitted a retired judge to serve as a parent coordinator in her matter. The party argued that a retired judge should be conflicted out of serving as a parent coordinator because of the restrictions placed upon a retired judge's employment opportunities. Retired judges are prohibited from serving as attorneys in contested matters and accepting "fee generating, court-initiated appointments" except when qualified through training and experience.  

A parent coordinator is a person who is appointed (by the Court or the parties themselves) to facilitate day-to-day parenting issues that frequently arise within the context of family life when parents are separated and cannot resolve issues on their own. A parent coordinator could be a social worker, psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist. If the parties involved in a matter consent, the court may designate a non-mental health person or attorney. The Appellate Division found that there was no suggestion that the retired judge was unqualified for the position. Since the judge was qualified to serve as a parent coordinator, there was nothing prohibiting him from being appointed and the Appellate Division upheld the trial court's decision. 

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