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Court there is a World of Better Options to Resolve Parental Conflict. Heres Four:
When locked in bitter
conflict, sometimes people resort to court. This can result in poor outcomes as
the court is more limited in terms of solutions that can be ordered.
What is needed is a
flexible approach to service and services that are actually structured to
address specific issues. Here are four examples of specific issues and services
that may be helpful:
Issue: Parents have concern
about the behavior and/or mental health of a child. They each blame the other
for the situation. The child is likely stuck in the middle. This is a situation
that calls for a more clinical approach to resolve the difficulties.
Issue: Parents each believe that
the court will find in their favor to settle a dispute. However, the process is
both lengthy and costly. Neither may understand about the various other
approaches available to resolve the conflict, approaches that may be more
timely, cost effective and more likely to provide a peaceful resolution. This
situation calls for a sit-down to discuss process options that are available for
resolving the dispute. Although perhaps a costly meeting, this upfront cost is
often far less expensive that going through litigation. It helps to know your
Issue: In some situations, the
parents are locked in with opposing views, realize that court will be a costly
and risky option, yet dont have confidence in handling mediation alone. The
parents already have their own litigation lawyers and dont want to begin a
new process with Collaborative lawyers. This is a situation where working with a
mediator yet including the lawyers can provide relief to the issues at hand.
Issue: As much as most parents
try to keep their children out of the conflict, there are times when hearing
from the child can be helpful to the parents who then can more reasonably
structure their parenting plan. This is particularly helpful in situations
involving preteen and young teen-aged children expressing a residential
The above are just a
sampling of creative solutions available for helping separated parent care for
their children and resolve disputes.
If you are locked in a parental conflict and think
court is the only answer, then I would encourage you to review my full
list of services. After reviewing the list, feel free to call and
discuss. To be helpful, your situation may benefit from a combination of
solutions. As soon as you opt out of court, you can be more creative in terms of
how to go about solving problems as well as determining the solutions to best
meet your needs.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
Call Gary for your next conference and for expert opinion on family matters. Services include counselling, mediation, assessment, assessment critiques and workshops.
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