High-conflict divorces are sometimes the result of parents with personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder. While it’s best to get along and put the child’s interest first, that does not always mean the same thing for every family. If you are dealing with a contentious divorce, make sure to work with a Boca Raton child custody attorney who will go above and beyond to protect you and your children. In some cases, it’s not acceptable to agree to a parenting plan even when one spouse exhibits narcissist behaviors or addictive patterns. According to an article by huffingtonpost.com, people with narcissistic personality disorder or NPD often appear charming in the courtroom even when they are dishonest, manipulative and dangerous. In high conflict divorces with children in Florida, equal parenting time does not always make sense.
Expecting a judge’s intervention
While average parents who agree on a divorce often resolve their issues through mediation, it’s more likely that a judge will intervene in a high-conflict custody battle. It’s important to have an experienced child custody attorney in your corner who understands the Florida laws and attitudes about co-parenting. With a contested custody case, remain patient. Continue to document all interactions with the other parent without name-calling, arguing or engaging in any drama outside the courtroom. If you are prone to losing your temper or expressing anger, tell yourself you are under surveillance and that all calls are monitored.
Figuring out where you stand
If you aren’t sure whether you are in a high-conflict custody situation, consider whether there is any positive progress in terms of cooperation and communication. All negative and hostile interactions with a spouse negatively impact the children if they overhear or witness the emotional responses such as crying and depression. If your spouse threatens you or abuses you, file a restraining order without any hesitation. Domestic violence is a major red flag that indicates a high-conflict divorce. Other red flags include substance abuse, cheating during the marriage, and false reports of child abuse. If your spouse has a substance abuse problem, talk to your custody attorney about pursuing supervised visitation and mandatory drug testing and counseling as part of the custody agreement. A less dangerous but equally frustrating reason for a highly contentious divorce relates to parental relocation. Perhaps your spouse wants to move for a job or family. In cases of geographic separation, rely on an attorney to figure out how to protect your interests.
Even though most people are educated about the dangerous impact of turning children against a parent, many parents in custody battles are still guilty of parental alienation. Parental alienation is not something that only one gender participates in by manipulating the child’s mind and attachments. According to an article by thegoodmenproject.com, some of the signs of parental alienation include requests by the child that the parent not attend events, oppositional-defiant disorder in the child. Also, a parent might claim the child does not want to talk to the other parent or want him/her to attend school conferences. If you feel as though you are a victim of parental alienation tactics, talk to your attorney about a strategic plan to expose the parent with the offending behavior. Make sure you follow any court agreements or parenting plans. But if you witness or suffer any abuse at the hands of your spouse, contact the authorities.
At the Law Offices of Ronald M. Zakarin, we are used to navigating the family courts with clients who have acrimonious relationships with a spouse. If you are dealing with parental alienation, a high conflict custody situation or need a compassionate attorney and aggressive representation in Boca Raton, Florida, please contact us.