Showing posts from January, 2012

Basic Protocols for Calming Divorce, Custody and Visitation Conflicts

By learning from experience, I am trying to arrive at a set of basic 'protocols' (as I call them) that can be used in most high-conflict custody and visitation cases.  The idea is to reduce or eliminate much of the wasted effort and wheel-spinning that can take place as parents jockey for advantage.  Not that there aren't important tactical considerations in these cases -- there are!  I'm talking about protocols like the following: 1.  Don't talk with the other parent during exchanges of the child 2.  Communicate with the other parent only by email, except for emergencies 3.  Pickup of the child for visitation is by the parent whose time is beginning. 4.  Exchange of the child(ren) should be done curbside in front of the other parent's house, with the parent in the car staying in the car.  (This works for children who are safe to walk between the street and the front door.) Back to my website

Communication during visitation exchanges

Since I often represent clients in high-conflict visitation disputes, my usual advice is to not say A WORD to the other parent at the time the child is exchanged for the visits.  Even brief conversations 'over the heads' of the children during an exchange can lead to an argument.  Or, if one parent doesn't care about involving the children in the conflict, he or she can push for answers, and the other side (wanting to avoid conflict in front ofthe children) might feel he or she has to give in.  ('What do you mean you want to talk about this later -- I need an answer right now!' the one parent might say.) When parents are in conflict -- as shown by their needing attorneys and the court system to decide things - I advise clients to communicate with the other parent by email only , so there is a good trail of the conversations, should there ever be a need to discuss those in court.  I don't really favor text messages, since they are individual messages and don