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Families Change Guide to Separation & Divorce

5.17 - High Conflict Situations

5.17 - High Conflict Situations

In summary, it is important to note that:

  • The transition to a businesslike relationship takes time. It is important to constantly assess your relationship with the other parent.
  • As your relationship breaks down, you will find the feelings of trust and love sometimes change into intense anger, fear and distrust. Parents sometimes feel in competition with each other and try to “win over” the children.
  • How well parents handle anger will determine to a great extent how well their children cope with the separation and divorce experience and make a positive adjustment.
  • In some cases, ordinary reasoning may not work. In these cases, a highly structured agreement will help to make clear the expectations and set firm boundaries. This may include putting in place a third person to handle the transition of your children, and a clear understanding of who is responsible for drop off and pick up.
  • Safety of yourself and your children is always the number one priority. Negotiation tips are not going to be useful when one is feeling threatened by the other parent. Consult with a lawyer, professional counsellor or a family justice counsellor when there are safety concerns.

Next, you will have the chance to complete a review exercise to help ensure that you have understood the material just covered.