Bower v. Bournay-Bower: Parenting Coordination Guidance?

 

The Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) recently decided a case on the issue of whether the Court may appoint a Parenting Coordinator (PC). In the Bower v. Bournay-Bower matter the Court  appointed a PC over one of the party’s objections and provided the PC with the authority to make binding decision on matters of custody and parenting time. The SJC found that the Court had exceeded its judicial authority and that the authority charged by the PC was an improper delegation of judicial authority.

The Court did find that the Court possess the “inherent authority to appoint parent coordinators in appropriate circumstances”, but that in the this case the appointment exceeded the bounds of that authority.

There is presently no statute or court rule that governs the selection and appointment of a PC. Parties interested in an alternative to a Guardian Ad Litem have to enter into an agreement relative to the appointment of a PC.

The SJC urged the Probate and Family Court to enact a rule governing the appointment of parenting coordinators. I envision that the Court will enact a set of guidelines and procedures similar to that employed to select Guardian Ad Litems. This will allow families another tool to help resolve their disputes.

I wish you all the best,

Josh Robbins

Of Counsel

Scafidi, Juliano & Hurd, LLP

310 Washington Street, Suite 201

Wellesley, Massachusetts 02481

(T): 781-210-4710

(F): 781-210-4711

(E): jrobbins@sjh-law.com

Disclaimer:

This Blog/Website is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice (or any legal advice).  This blog is for general informational purposes only. Joshua N. Robbins, Esq. does not offer or dispense legal advise through this blog or by emails to or from this site. By using this Blog / Website you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog/Website publisher.  The Blog/Website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state or jurisdiction. This blog is not published for advertising or solicitation purposes. Regardless, the hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon a Blog / Website. The information on the blog may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date. While the blog is revised on a regular basis, it may not reflect the most current legal developments. The opinions expressed at or through the blog are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in Circular 230, we inform you that any tax advice contained on this site (including any links provided) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.

 

Creative Will Provisions: Protecting House Plants

Most individuals draft a will to protect their children, create a mechanism to transfer assets or make charitable contributions. I recently came across a news story in which a woman included specific provisions in her will for her 42-year old house plant. The Pittsburgh woman realized that her beloved philodendron would outlive her and she needed to ensure it was provided for. Thus Ms. Scoratow included a provision in her will which granted a friend $5,000.00 to use in caring for her plant. Unfortunately, while Ms. Scoratow owns many plants, this was the only plant she provided for, stating: “I don’t have the same love with them. I don’t know how to explain it. I don’t want to be cold or anything.”

While I have reviewed pet trusts and other provisions to provide for loved ones, this is a first regarding the care of house plants. This story illustrates the creative power of estate planning and how individuals and attorneys can establish innovative means for carrying out a client’s wishes.

I wish you all the best,

Josh Robbins

Of Counsel

Scafidi, Juliano & Hurd, LLP

310 Washington Street, Suite 201

Wellesley, Massachusetts 02481

(T): 781-210-4710

(F): 781-210-4711

(E): jrobbins@sjh-law.com

Disclaimer:

This Blog/Website is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice (or any legal advice).  This blog is for general informational purposes only. Joshua N. Robbins, Esq. does not offer or dispense legal advise through this blog or by emails to or from this site. By using this Blog / Website you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog/Website publisher.  The Blog/Website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state or jurisdiction. This blog is not published for advertising or solicitation purposes. Regardless, the hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon a Blog / Website. The information on the blog may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date. While the blog is revised on a regular basis, it may not reflect the most current legal developments. The opinions expressed at or through the blog are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in Circular 230, we inform you that any tax advice contained on this site (including any links provided) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.