Family Re-Organisation

ONE OR BOTH PARENTS RESIST CHANGE AND GET LOCKED INTO A HIGH-CONFLICT PATTERN OF RELATING

Some family systems find it difficult to re-organise in a functional manner. In these systems the parents cannot resolve issues between them and the conflict between them becomes their pattern of their relationship. They are unable to negotiate the necessary transitions and become “frozen” in their manner of relating.

What is a high conflict divorce?

The high conflict divorce is marked by:

  • Long term emotional disputes involving high levels of anger and mistrust.
  • Parents are locked in chronic disagreements over parenting issues.
  • Repeated use of unsubstantiated allegations of poor parenting.
  • A history of abuse and misuse of the legal system

What remedies are available to manage these cases?

  • The Children’s Act requires that if co-holders of parental responsibility are experiencing difficulties in exercising their responsibilities and rights, those persons need to engage in the drafting of a Parenting Plan prior to approaching Court.
  • Parent education and skills building
  • Therapy and/or mediation
  • Co-parenting counselling
  • Supervised or monitored contact
  • Psychological assessments
  • Case management

The case manager could be requested to:

  • Assist the parents in drafting a Parenting Plan
  • Ensure the implementation of residence and contact arrangements
  • Mediate disputes
  • Monitor contact
  • Assist in parent education
  • Arbitrate

It is recommended that case management should be done in accordance of a detailed Court Order.

The Parenting Plan drafted for high conflict divorcing parents should for example include:

  • Detailed agreements on as many aspects as are in dispute
  • The means of communication that the parents will use.
  • Procedures for transitions between homes
  • Attendance of special events
  • Telephonic contact
  • Right of first refusal

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