Identifying whether a case is “high conflict” can be surprisingly complicated at times. It is normal to have some level of conflict in a divorce or parenting dispute. The question is whether a particular case has an abnormally high amount of conflict.
Of course, there are cases that are obviously high conflict. Those cases often involve domestic violence and/or Orders of Protection.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are cases that are relatively amicable. The rest of the cases are in the middle grey area, and determining whether they are high conflict cases is a matter of gradation.
Perhaps the best way to determine whether your case is high conflict, or has the potential to become high conflict, is looking at how disputes are handled between you and the other party.
If minor disputes transform into major battles, it is a pretty clear sign that you and the other party do not get along, for whatever reason, and the matter will likely involve a significant amount of conflict.
Conversely, if the minor disputes are handled in a civilized manner, even if neither party is completely satisfied with the solution, your case does not involve an abnormal amount of conflict.
More important than simply identifying whether a case is high conflict is recognizing who is harmed by high conflict cases; the children involved. After all, the court really doesn’t care all that much about the level of conflict in a case that doesn’t involve children, except as it relates to unreasonable positions taken during litigation for attorney’s fees.
The cases in which the court will take action to attempt to reduce the high level of conflict are those involving children. In those cases, the court will often set rules for how the parties communicate and/or send the parties to the Parental Conflict Resolution Class to mitigate the impact of the conflict on the children.
My next blog will discuss the Parental Conflict Resolution Class and how it is intended to assist parties involved in high conflict situations.
If you would like to work with one of our experienced Attorneys, please call OWENS & PERKINS at (480) 630-2464 to schedule your free 30 minute consultation.