Most divorces and custody cases involve some level of conflict between parties. While conflict is unpleasant, it is to be expected. With the help of experienced counsel who understand how to avoid fueling conflict, most couples can work through episodic conflict to successfully resolve their disputes.
In high-conflict family law matters, by contrast, conflict between parties often begins early in the process and escalates. It is usually difficult to work through the conflict to achieve goals because for one (or both) parties, heightened conflict is the goal. In these disputes, a party with a high-conflict personality often takes the approach that “if I can’t have what I want, I’ll burn everything down.”
If this sounds familiar to you, you may be facing a high-conflict divorce or child custody case. These cases are often drawn-out and expensive and are always stressful, not only for the parties, but for their children. Divorcing a spouse with a high-conflict personality may be difficult, but necessary in order to get free and move forward with your life. While nothing can make the process easy, cultivating an understanding of high-conflict divorce can help you to be prepared.
Every divorce is different, and that includes high-conflict divorces. However, there are some common threads that often appear in high-conflict disputes. Even if you have not yet begun your divorce or custody matter, you may have experienced some of the following in dealing with your partner:
Most high-conflict divorce or custody disputes feature some, if not most, of these behaviors. If you are witnessing these behaviors prior to initiating your legal matter, you can expect them to escalate as the case progresses.
Choosing the right attorney is more critical than ever if you are facing a high-conflict divorce or child custody matter. A conflict-avoidant attorney may offer your partner concessions in an effort to bargain in good faith to resolve the dispute, but no concession is ever sufficient to appease a high-conflict personality. On the other hand, the tactics of an overly aggressive attorney may fuel the fire of your partner’s hostility, causing your partner to further dig in their heels. To successfully resolve a high-conflict family law dispute, you need to work with an attorney who understands the dynamics involved and who will neither fold in the face of conflict, nor provoke unnecessary antagonism.
The attorneys of Strickler, Platnick & Hatfield understand the challenges of navigating a high-conflict divorce or custody case. Achieving a negotiated settlement is usually the ideal outcome in a family law case, but when a partner cannot or will not negotiate fairly, settlement may become impossible. In those cases, the only viable option is to resolve the dispute at trial with the help of attorneys who have decades of experience litigating complex family law disputes.
If you are faced with the prospect of a high-conflict divorce or child custody matter, you do not have to navigate it alone. Located in Potomac, Maryland, we invite you to contact Strickler, Platnick & Hatfield to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation.