Considering the Children in a High Conflict Divorce

- Gary E. Williams

One of the great fears of individuals who are getting divorced is the risk of a high conflict divorce. These types of divorces are wrought with anger, mistrust, fighting, and contempt. Often, parents in high conflict divorces will become embittered and unable to separate the best interests of their children from the contentiousness of the divorce. As a result, the children suffer and the parents no longer meet their duties to act in the best interests of the children. Worse, the parents may act against each other to deny the other parent of their legitimate right to enjoy time with their children.

In Florida, the courts have found that such violations rise to the level of Constitutional violations, considering these actions to be malevolent attempts to influence the children and their beliefs about the other parent. Naturally, these types of situations harbor animosity between the parents and rarely serve the interests of any party in a divorce.

Signs of a High Conflict Divorce

The tell-tale signs of a high conflict divorce include:

  • Criminal cases arising from the disputes
  • Child welfare involvement throughout the divorce
  • Multiple changes in lawyers
  • Multiple court appearances with lengthy time before settlements
  • A history of failures to communicate

Additionally, these types of divorces are characterized by health changes to both parties including depression, rigid and inflexible thinking about relationships and child development, mistrust, verbal and physical aggression, and a high degree of competitiveness regarding the marriage and alienation of children from the other parent.

The effect of this type of divorce is substantial upon both the children and the parents. As a result, it is important that parents take the time to understand what a high-conflict divorce is and to understand which tools may be available to help reduce high conflict situations.

Parent Coordination Can Assist Parents In Some High Conflict Divorces

In Florida, parent coordination has been available for a number of years. It is a tool that assists parents in identifying the best interests of a child and can help with creating, establishing, and implementing a good parenting plan. Though the work of the parent coordinator is limited to the scope of any court order for the services, parent coordinators have been shown to be beneficial in improving communication, among other benefits, during high-conflict divorces.

It is important to understand children’s issues and the resources that may be available to you if you believe that you are facing a high conflict divorce. Attorney Gary Williams has confidently handled contentious divorces and can help individuals enjoy the resources that keep their relationships strong with their children. For a free initial consultation, we welcome your call to Attorney Gary Williams today at (727) 531-8737.