I have found In High conflict divorce and custody cases all to often one of the parents have a less than principled strategy to obtain full custody of the children and to completely control the other parent. The most effective way to accomplish this is to completely remove the other parent from the children’s life and to create enough questions about the other parent’s appropriateness both around them and the children. When you find yourself in this kind of situation you will probably find that the more you advocate for you parental rights, the harder the other parents controlling personality escalates. Many times this escalation results in false allegations of abuse against the children or Domestic Violence against the ex-partner or both. If you can think it they will say it.
This strategy of using false allegations is frequently used in gaining total custody and control of the children. The parents that tend to make these false allegations are extremely calculating and the damage caused is difficult to mitigate.
Defending yourself against this type of extreme behavior can be expensive both financially but also to the mental health of the children. The best way to not find your self in this situation is to anticipate it and avoid getting ambushed by the other parent. If you think it won’t happen to you than think again. If you have been around the other parent for any length of time you probably have a good idea of the personality you are likely facing. And if there is any question at all, DON’T risk it.
The child custody exchange is likely the most important part of the parenting plan when it comes to the subject of avoiding false allegations. When dealing with ex-partners that display a high conflict personality, knowing what the possible strategies that can be used in order to entrap you during and exchange is vital. In order to distance yourself from these strategies you will need to put some easy to use tools in your parenting plan. Installing some straightforward tools into your parenting plan will go far in mitigating the risk for false allegations to strike.
Here is what I consider to be vital components of a parenting plan designed to manage the risk associated with high conflict divorce and custody issues.
“No Face to Face Exchange Exchanges. Using school or daycare to do the exchanges. One parent drops off in the morning the other picks up in the evening.
Supervised exchanges when false allegation have already been rendered or you feel that the accusations are soon to come. Here the cost vs. the possibility of being ambushed is well worth it.
Have someone with you during the exchange when possible. This can keep the other parent from behavior designed to get you to react because someone else is there to witness the exchange.
Exchanges at the homes of either parent are a major NO NO, even if it is curbside. Being in the other parent’s Territory or having them in yours is a recipe for disaster.
Exchanges at the local Police Station will certainly keep the ex from acting out.
By using these tools in the parenting plan you will greatly reduce the risk of being caught off guard and finding yourself fighting an uphill battle to regain custody of your children.