A Parenting Time Expeditor (PTE) may be appointed to your case to deal with disputes over interpretation of your court order. The parenting time expeditor was created by the legislature and has been authorized by Minnesota Statute §518.1751. Since the parenting time expeditor is authorized by Minnesota Statute, you can have a PTE appointed to your case by either agreement or the court can appoint one to your case.
The function of the PTE is to resolve parenting time disputes. They do this by reviewing the existing court order and then making a determination as to what the court order states or if the order is silent regarding the matter, they make the decision. For example, your court order may state that each party has one week of vacation time with the children. The other parent wants to take a week of vacation from Monday through Sunday following their weekend parenting time. This would give that parent a 10 day vacation not one 7 day week vacation. It also may cause one parent to not see the children for a significant period of time. This dispute could be submitted to a PTE to make the decision as to whether the court order allows for 7 day weeks or 10 day weeks. If the order is silent, the PTE will then issue an order stating what the vacation terms are.
Parenting time expeditors can also be used to make determinations regarding whether or not the court order has been violated. An example of this situation might be if your court order stated that you were supposed to have the children for the 4th of July holiday but the other parent took the children on vacation that week and did not let you have your holiday time. Or if the children’s other parent simply told you that you couldn’t have the children a particular weekend because they had something else planned. The PTE would have the authority to decide if the parenting time had been wrongfully withheld and if so, they would have the authority to grant compensatory parenting time, or to give you the 4th of July holiday the following year.
Parenting time expeditors are also helpful to have assigned to your case to deal with unexpected situations. PTE’s do not have the authority to change your parenting time schedule outright, but they do have the authority to authorize additional parenting time on a case by case basis. An example of this situation may be that your parents want to take your entire family on a Disney cruise during spring break. Your court order may not address spring break as a holiday, or may not allow you to take your vacation time with the children for any months other than the summer months. The PTE would be authorized to allow you to take the children for additional parenting time if the circumstances merit it.
If you think that your case would benefit from having a parenting time expeditor appointed, contact our office for a consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys. We have successfully handled many contested motions for appointment of a parenting time expeditor. Our attorneys also have the experience necessary to recommend the right parenting time expeditor for your case.