The 12th Judicial Circuit has two reduced fee programs, the Social Investigation and Parenting Plan Recommendation Program, and the Social Study and Parenting Plan Facilitation Program.
The 12th Judicial Circuit does not have funds available to financially contribute to or pay for any appointments of professionals to cases under the reduced fee family programs. The parties are 100% responsible for paying directly the professional assigned to a case under the reduced fee program. Cases are eligible for the reduced fee program only if the parties are experiencing financial hardship. Only the Court can determine eligibility for the reduced fee programs. Reduced fee program providers are assigned by the Family Division Case Manager in rotation.
Parenting coordination is a process where an impartial third person, appointed by the court in a family case, helps parties implement their parenting plan by facilitating the resolution of disputes between parents and/or legal guardians. Parenting coordinators educate the parties as to the child’s needs, make recommendations to the parties, and with prior approval of the parties and the court, make decisions within the scope of the court order of appointment.
A social investigation is a process performed by an impartial mental health professional who is qualified to provide the court, the parties, and the parties’ attorneys with information and recommendations regarding the best interests of the child(ren).
A parenting plan is a document created to govern the relationship between the parties relating to decisions made regarding the minor child(ren), and it must contain a detailed time-sharing schedule for the parents and the child(ren).
Parenting plan facilitation is unique to the 12th Judicial Circuit and was formerly known as the Custody Monitor Program. The court may order a social study and parenting plan facilitation when the court finds that the parties’ lack of cooperation negatively affects a child’s relationship with a parent, and/or when the parties are unable to establish or comply with previously ordered or agreed upon contact arrangements between the parties and the child(ren).