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Hillsborough Family Court Promotes Don Juan Doc to Unsuspecting Parents

Wine, Woman and Intimate Notes Downfall of Disgraced Tampa Psychologist Mark Prange, Ph.D.

May 29, 2013

When Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush vetoed Senate Bill 2640 on Parenting Coordination on June 18, 2004, he warned that "we must limit the risk of 'professionalization' of the parenting coordinator role by limiting it to volunteers." Almost nine years later, the "professionalization" of the parenting coordinator role has fully taken hold. Hillsborough County Family Court publishes a list of approved parenting coordinators who charge parents anywhere from $150 per hour to $250 per hour to assist them in trying to resolve parenting conflicts.

On top of ordering parents to pay exorbitant hourly rates to attempt to resolve parenting conflicts outside of court, Hillsborough Family Court has promoted to unsuspecting parents at least one parenting coordinator who does not even appear to qualify as a parenting coordinator under the relevant Florida Statute.

Florida Statute 61.125(4)(c) states, "A qualified parenting coordinator must be in good standing, or in clear and active status, with his or her respective licensing authority, certification board, or both, as applicable." However, a license verification lookup on the Florida Department of Health Medical Quality Assurance web site reveals that Mark Prange, who figures prominently seventh from the top on the Hillsborough Family Court list of thirty-eight approved parenting coordinators, has a "License/Activity Status" of "Obligations/Active" rather than the "clear and active status" required to qualify as a parenting coordinator under the statute.

Florida Statute 61.125(5)(b) states, "A parenting coordinator must discontinue service as a parenting coordinator and immediately report to the court and the parties if any of the disqualifying circumstances described in paragraph (a) occur, or if he or she no longer meets the minimum qualifications in subsection (4), and the court may appoint another parenting coordinator." Echoing the Florida Statute, Hillsborough Family Court requirements also state that a qualified parenting coordinator must be "in clear and active status" with his or her licensing authority, certification board, or both.

This begs the question: did Mark Prange, Ph.D. fail to notify the court as statutorily required of his change in license status from Clear to Obligations and that as such he no longer met the minimum qualifications in subsection (4), or did the Hillsborough Family Court simply ignore his notification and continue to promote him as an approved parenting coordinator to parents?

Whichever the case may be, what is certain is that the Florida Department of Health's salacious administrative complaint against Dr. Mark Prange alleged inappropriate behavior on his part that would be unbecoming of any court official, let alone a court-appointed parenting coordinator. The DOH complaint against Dr. Prange alleged that he drank wine with a female client, that he kissed his female client, that he wrote his female client personal and intimate correspondence, that he exchanged gifts with his female client, that he met his female client in places other than his office, that he engaged in "reparenting" exercises with his female client whereby the two would put their head in each other's lap, and that Dr. Prange's conduct exceeded the boundaries of a psychologist-client relationship. The DOH complaint also alleged that Dr. Prange divulged confidential information to his female client about her husband, which he learned from a colleague treating the husband.

If as a therapist Mark Prange would stoop so low as to seduce a vulnerable female client seeking his professional help, one has to seriously wonder if it is wise for Hillsborough Family Court to continue to refer recently divorced single mothers to Dr. Prange for his "professional" services as a parenting coordinator. It would seem more prudent for Hillsborough Family Court, out of respect for the statute and an abundance of caution, to enforce the existing Florida Statute on parenting cooordination and the 13th Judicial Circuit's own parenting coordinator requirements, rather than continue to refer parents to a so-called professional who does not seem to meet the minimum statutory or court requirements to qualify as a parenting coordinator.

Hypothetically, would it likely reduce or exacerbate parental conflict if Dr. Prange was to seduce an ex-spouse involved in a high conflict divorce involving children? While one parent might suffer more than the other in such a scenario, ultimately neither would benefit from more conflict and the child(ren) would suffer most. And if, as alleged, Dr. Prange did divulge confidential information about one spouse to another, what does that say about his ability to act as an impartial parenting coordinator between ex-spouses fighting over their child(ren)? Would he favor an ex-spouse/parent that he fancied? Likewise, if Dr. Prange could not be trusted to fulfill his obligation to notify the court if he no longer met the minimum requirements under F.S. 61.125(4)(c), as required of him under F.S. 61.125(5)(b), can he really be trusted to accurately report facts to the court when parents are in dispute over parenting issues?

For its part, the Florida Board of Psychology has issued a final order accepting a proposed settlement agreement with respect to the DOH adminstrative complaint against Dr. Mark Prange, issuing a letter of concern to Dr. Prange, imposing an administrative fine on Dr. Prange in the amount of $5,000, requiring Dr. Prange to reimburse additional costs in the amount of $5,461.37, and ordering Dr. Prange to complete continuing education in the areas of ethics and boundaries.

Have you had an experience with psychologist Mark Prange, Ph.D. that you would like to share?

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