In many divorces, both spouses just want to get out of the marriage without too much bloodshed from either side. Maybe they’ve been divorced before and know the toll that a divorce can take.
Maybe they don’t have a lot of money and realize that the more they spend on lawyers and court costs the less they will have to rebuild their lives after the divorce is finalized. In some situations, the parties have children and just want to maximize their time with the kids and not expend any more energy than they have to on their soon to be ex-spouse.
Unfortunately, there are divorces where an amicable settlement of the issues is not possible. In some instances, one or both spouses have deep set issues with the other spouse and the only way (at least in the parties’ minds) to deal with those issues is to hire a divorce lawyer and go to Court.
The divorce attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan understand that no two divorces are the same and that each client our office represents demands and deserves personalized treatment and counsel.
This blog post will detail some instances from our years of family law experience in southeast Texas of when divorces can shift into high conflict divorces. By far the most typical example of a high conflict divorce is when the child custody issue is front and center.
Courtroom combat when it comes to child custody should be avoided whenever possible
Resolving, mediating and settling issues related to child custody can be the difference between a manageable 3-4-month divorce and a divorce where the case lasts longer.
These types of divorces are more expensive, due to each party having to pay their lawyers to do more work and spend more time on their case, and can be emotionally draining as well. If you are a person who is contemplating divorce or are facing the prospect of your spouse filing for divorce against you then the next few paragraphs should be especially important to you.
Ultimately, I must say that if your current thought process is to lawyer up and take your spouse to court every week in order to “get” your child then that is probably the wrong mindset to have. I’m not trying to tell you that you’re not justified in feeling that way. I’m also not going to attempt to convince you that it’s not worth it, that “the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.”
What I will state at the outset of this section of the blog is that I have walked out of courtrooms with clients who have had judges rule in their favor, and I’ve walked out of courtrooms with clients who have had judges rule in their spouse’s favor.
You may be surprised to learn that their faces look fairly similar no matter the result. Most folks at that point are just happy to be done with the fighting and are ready to deal with their new realities. It is rare that any one party is completely satisfied with the results of their divorce case, especially when it comes to child custody.
Complicated Issues in Child Custody can lead to conflict
What sort of issues bring about these high conflict child custody cases? A lawyer’s favorite answer to give a client is, “Well, it depends.”
There are situations that involve physical danger either to a child, a spouse or both. Those are instances where high conflict persons put themselves in high conflict situation and a high conflict divorce and child custody contest is easily foreseeable. Examples of the sort of issues that lead to high conflict custody disputes include family violence and drug/alcohol abuse.
Parental Alienation a huge cause of high conflict custody cases
While situations involving family violence or parental drug use catch your attention with ease, they are fortunately uncommon compared to other issues that lead to high conflict custody situations for divorcing parents. What does cause a very high percentage of these sort of disputes are situations that involve one parent attempting to alienate the child from the other parent.
The behaviors involved in parental alienation include any kind of purposeful behavior the goal of which is to draw the child closer to the alienating parent and away from the other parent. A divorce offers a perfect opportunity for the alienating parent to discuss the issues of the marriage with the child.
By doing so, the child receives a one-sided view of what is happening in the relationship and in the family. The real issue is that a child is not mature enough to understand the complex relational issues the family is facing and there is a risk of doing long term damage. In the short term, the alienating parent can anger their soon to be ex-spouse with their behavior in a way that can lead to a contentious and conflict filled divorce.
A former client of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan hired our office after his wife filed for divorce against him around Christmas time last year. This gentleman told his attorney of how his wife had flown her parents down to Houston to have them with her when she told the children about how their parents were getting divorced.
The grandparents were ready to swoop in and buy Christmas presents and just generally help make the holiday more “normal.” The children were told that if not for Grandma and Grandpa there would not have been a Christmas in that year.
This is textbook alienating behavior. Our client felt the brunt of the children’s anger for an extended period of time during the divorce and the relationship with his children still has not recovered.
It took a lot of conversation and counseling with our office to allow him to understand that going tit for tat with his wife on these issues would not serve a higher purpose. In fact, exacerbating an already conflict rich environment by engaging in similar behavior would have been detrimental to the children and himself.
High Conflict Child Custody attorneys- The Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions regarding high conflict custody disputes please contact the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys take a personal interest in each client we work with and make your goals our own in handling your divorce or child custody case. A consultation with our attorneys is free of charge.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Kingwood Divorce Lawyer
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with ar Kingwood, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.
A divorce lawyer in Kingwood TX is skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.