What is a High-Conflict Parent and How Can They Make Divorce Difficult?
Divorce can be an adversarial process, and that likelihood increases when there is a high-conflict parent. Spouses who face this situation find compromise nearly impossible and face constant rage.
Believe your spouse is a high-conflict parent? Here are the warning signs and how they make divorce difficult.
Poor emotional regulation: The high-conflict parent has frequent outbursts. They never recover after being upset and hold long grudges. You likely feel like you’re walking on eggshells around them and worry that something small will set them off and sabotage your divorce settlement.
Thrives on conflict: If your spouse escalates conflict and disagreement rather than find common ground, they are likely a high-conflict parent. It is never about the issue in dispute; it is about them and their vision of a “win.” Your children may feel hesitant to express their emotions or speak their truth.
Never take responsibility: Everything is your fault. Any conflicts or setbacks are you, the children, their attorney, or the judge or mediator--and never with them and their uncompromising approach. You cannot change their behavior, so you find ways to work with it or decide to litigate rather than mediate your divorce.
Lack of empathy: The high-conflict parent does not care about your needs, wants, or feelings--or those of your children. Again, it is all about them and what they desire. They can often intimate empathy or compassion, but it is a front.
Vindictive behavior: If the high-conflict parent cannot win, they will try to “get” you. They will strike back either by digging in or making untrue allegations. They will never consider how this affects their children and will also hit back at them. It is likely vital to get mental health counseling as an additional guide through your divorce if you face this situation.
If you face a high-conflict parent in a mediation, you need assistance de-escalating and finding solutions. Contact the experienced Long Island divorce lawyers at Solutions Divorce Mediation today and see how we can help you.