“Resources for High Conflict Custody Situations”
Although courts have some ability to manage high conflict situations regarding custody and visitation, there are limits on what can be done to limit conflict. One thing that I recommend in ongoing situations (particularly ones that stretch out for a number of years) is that my clients educate themselves on high conflict people. This can help when dealing with high conflict situations. Sometimes situations can be diffused by approaching them from a different angle; other times there is nothing to be done, but it helps to understand what the other person is likely to do and how they will try to manipulate a situation.
The two books I recommend are by Bill Eddy, who is an attorney, therapist, and a mediator.
The first book is “High Conflict People In Legal Disputes,” which helps you identify a high conflict person, and explains the four types of personality disorders which commonly present themselves in family law disputes. It is a highly educational book.
The second book is called “BIFF” and relates to how to communicate with high conflict people, including via e-mail and social media. BIFF stands for Brief, Informative, Friendly, and Firm, but there’s a lot more to it than that from a psychological standpoint, of course.
In addition to giving you tools to deal with these people, both of these books teach you how not to allow high conflict people to suck away either time or energy from your life. This can be the most important lesson of all, in the end, as high conflict people are not likely to change. What you CAN change, is your response to them, and how much you let them control your life with their behaviors.
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