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High conflict divorce and the welfare of the children

Not surprisingly, a high conflict divorce can be devastating for children. Often such children are stuck in the middle between couples and put in a position where they are asked to take sides. Too often, such young children at the center of a child custody dispute blame themselves for the friction between the two parents.

Programs are often put in place to deescalate the conflict between the parents. Also, strategies have been created that, if followed, may prevent parents from acting out in front of their children and, in the long run, do what will best benefit their sons or daughters.

Some useful tips for getting along for the sake of the child would include:

  • Avoiding heated arguments in front of the children
  • Not being provoked by the other spouse
  • Work with the other parent in sharing of information
  • Be polite, but brief in interactions with the other parent
  • Be patient and flexible with each other
  • Try alternative means of communication to avoid provocation

Specifically in Florida, the emphasis is now about parents working out many of the details of a divorce themselves - especially concerning custody and care of the children. Often parents will meet with the respective attorneys and work out a parenting plan.

Attorneys can work with the clients to make them understand the need to be congenial in such matters. However, such an arrangement will never work out if no good faith effort is made on the part of the two parents to put differences aside and only consider what is in the best interests of the child.

Source: Staten Island Advance, "How to defuse a high-conflict divorce," by Elise G. McIntosh, July 24, 2012

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