Rather than accepting that high conflict is inevitable in divorced families, our goal should be to reduce the conflict. Shared parenting provides an incentive for parental cooperation, negotiation, mediation, and the development of parenting plans. Most parents can successfully learn to minimize conflict when they’re motivated to do so, and shared parenting provides this incentive. A number of specialized interventions to help parents reduce conflict have been developed, including therapeutic family mediation, parent education programs, and parenting coordination. A key strategy is keeping parents focused on their children’s needs, and enhancing parents’ attunement to their children’s needs. The main therapeutic task in high conflict families is to help divorcing parents separate their previous marital hostilities from their ongoing parenting responsibilities. Parents who remain challenged in this regard also have the option of parallel co-parenting. Over time, as the dust settles, parallel parenting may become replaced by a more cooperative co-parenting arrangement.
For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/