by Josh Jones
Times Tribune Editor
MADISON COUNTY — Local attorney Kelly Stephan of Stephan Law is proud to announce she will be participating in a new program that the state of Illinois is implementing to help reduce conflict among divorcing parents.
According to information provided by Stephan Law Firm, the program is where local circuit courts appoint a person as a parenting coordinator to help resolve minor issues in family law cases outside of the courtroom. The Madison County Circuit Court has approved Stephan as a parenting coordinator.
Stephan has practiced throughout Southern Illinois in the areas of Family, Probate and General Litigation; helping clients with divorce, custody disputes, guardianships, visitation, child support and parenting issues.
“I truly believe that children are better off if we can keep their parents out of a courtroom,” said Stephan. “With my experience in mediation, I have helped work out differences between dozens of my clients who happen to be parents facing conflict surrounding schedules, choices and everyday life. When a parenting coordinator intervenes, it gives a family the potential to reduce stress and improve the family dynamic. I am hopeful that having several of these in Madison County will help families live better lives for their kids. When we can remove the parents from the stress of the court system, the children win.”
On May 24, the Illinois Supreme Court adopted Rule 909 to establish a framework for the State of Illinois to utilize parenting coordinators. Already adopted in several other states, parenting coordination is an out-of-court process for families to resolve disputes, especially persistent and repeated disputes between parents on minor parenting issues.
According to the Madison County Circuit Court Local Court Rule, to qualify as a parenting coordinator there are several requirements. An individual must either have a degree in law or some type of behavioral science and five years of experience in law or mental health and circuit approved education including two hours of domestic violence training. The Madison County Circuit Court appoints these coordinators on a case-by-case basis.
Stephan Law is dedicated to providing personal service to its clients. The law firm has years of experience dealing with family law issues related to divorce, custody disputes, guardianships, visitation, child support, parenting issues, maintenance, property allocation, pension divisions, QDRO and more. The office proudly serves people in Madison County and Jersey County, according to the news release. For more information about Stephan Law Firm, go to www.choosestephanlaw.com/ or call (618) 208-3347.