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High-conflict custody dispute tips and advice

You hoped the child custody portion of your divorce would go smoothly, but the reality is that you and your ex are not anywhere close to seeing eye-to-eye. You both believe you should get sole custody; your ex has even talked about trying to cut you out of the child's life as much as possible.

This type of high-conflict case can be taxing, both for you and your child. Here are a few tips to help you get through it:

  • Write down what is happening and how you feel. This is an excellent way to get your thoughts in order and even to vent without making the situation worse. You want to avoid arguments whenever possible, and keeping a journal gives you another outlet.
  • Focus on finding ways that you can help make the process easier for your child. He or she should always be the main priority. Do not lose sight of that.
  • Be aware of things you are doing to make the situation worse, and try to change them. Even if your feelings and actions seem justified -- your spouse was unfaithful, for instance, and you're still hurt by it -- remember that working to be the bigger person can help your child.
  • Be open to compromise. You may not be 100 percent happy with the arrangement, but relationships take compromise. Even though your marriage is ending, that relationship the two of you share as parents will always be there.

Most of all, make sure that you understand all of your legal rights and the various options you have during a high-conflict custody case.

Source: Live About, "Help for Dealing With a High-Conflict Custody Dispute," Jennifer Wolf, accessed April 20, 2018

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