• Father Daughter

Help for Judges and Attorneys with High Conflict Cases

The High Conflict Diversion Program is dedicated to advancing the field.

As professionals, it is imperative we remain current in understanding how to help families in high conflict divorce and custody cases. However, until recently, there have been very few affordable and competent resources available. The High Conflict Diversion Program seeks to fill in the gaps with leading-edge materials for understanding the high conflict personality and strategies for dealing with parents involved in high conflict divorce.

Traditional thinking says all parents can and should co-parent for the sake of the child.

The truth of the matter is that as many as 30% of the cases judges see in family court fall into the category of being in high conflict, and that the typical strategies for co-parenting don’t work. Most of the high conflict cases are driven by at least one parent who displays behaviors consistent with personality disorders or substance abuse.

Many Methods used by Family Courts for High Conflict Cases often Perpetuate the Conflict.

By understanding that the traditional methods used by Family Court to deal with this population actually perpetuate the parental conflict pattern, we can begin to implement more effective strategies to move these families out of the court system and toward a more stable future.

The Mission of the High Conflict Diversion Program is three-fold:

  1. Remove children from the middle of the fight.
  2. Educate professionals for early identification.
  3. Create referral systems for professionals and the Family Court system for easy access to programs and services to reduce the impact of high conflict divorce and custody on parents and children caught in this destructive cycle.

The High Conflict Diversion Program is Available Nationwide

Jurisdictions all over the country are discovering the High Conflict Diversion Program and ordering parents to take this highly effective parenting class. The High Conflict Diversion Program is a one of a kind high conflict parenting program designed to work—even if only one of the parents learns and implements the skills we teach. The course has proven strategies that move the parent toward disengagement from the conflict, stabilizing the new family structure and prioritizing the needs of the children.

Helping to Identify High Conflict Cases

We have heard from many judges who say that it isn’t always easy to identify high conflict cases. We created the “20 Indicators of High Conflict Divorce and Custody” to help in that evaluation. As you look at the lists, we’re sure you will agree that even one of these indicators would be reason enough to classify a case as high conflict, and that many of the cases you preside over contain many of these indicators.

  1. A large power differential in the relationship (one parent has huge control issues)
  2. Extreme and frequent outbursts of anger in the relationship
  3. A constant sense of instability in the relationship (not knowing how the other parent is going to react to a situation, a sense of bracing or of always walking on eggshells)
  4. One of the parents reacts as if the other parent is victimizing them
  5. One of the parents accuses the other parent of being neglectful, damaging, absent, controlling, abusive, enmeshed or overly involved
  6. Alleged use of drugs, including prescription or street drugs, alcohol abuse, gambling, or pornography
  7. Accusations of one parent being unstable, crazy, erratic, irrational, moody, or emotionally disturbed, or having a personality problem or disorder
  8. Complaints from one parent about the safety and well-being of the children while in the other parent’s care
  9. Refusal to follow court orders
  10. One or both parents argue that they have been the primary parent before the breakup, or they insist they should be the primary parent now, refusing to agree to a parenting plan that incorporates both parents’ schedules providing for access to the children
  11. One parent has filed for a restraining order alleging domestic violence, including stalking, harassment, threats and physical altercations
  12. At the Family Court Services meeting, one parent displays emotions such as fright, anger, or hysteria
  13. At the Family Court Services meeting, one of the parents seems to be deliberately provoking the other parent into reacting with criticism or other behaviors
  14. Alleged criminal behavior or possession of a criminal record
  15. One of the parents accuses the other parent of lying
  16. CPS (or any professional) has been called upon to assist the family with issues related to the welfare and/or safety of the children
  17. Minor’s counsel has been assigned to the case (or is recommended) to provide the children a voice
  18. The parents argue over child sharing percentages that do not appear to be based upon valid concerns
  19. Stories about child sharing concerns or parenting concerns do not match up. It is a “he said/she said” argument, making it difficult to determine who is telling the truth.
  20. The case has earned a negative reputation with the courts because basic child sharing issues remain after continuous and/or frivolous litigation, excessive court filings, several FCS appointments, or frequent changes in attorneys/pro per representation

If a high conflict case can be identified at an early stage, the High Conflict Diversion Program can help divert the behaviors of the parents before they become engrained in the high conflict cycle.

For more information on the High Conflict Diversion Program or to find ways to use this program in your jurisdiction, contact Brook Olsen directly at 760-751-4398 or use the form below to message us online.