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What Is High Conflict Divorce?

High conflict divorce is often nothing more than a euphemism for high cost divorce.  Unfortunately, it takes 2 willing parties, as well as often two attorneys willing to give sage advice, for a case to not have conflict.  Some divorces are high conflict because of significant conflict over one specific issue; often custody of children.  Other divorces are considered high conflict because the parties cannot agree on anything. In high conflict divorces where the parties cannot agree on anything, this is often caused by one or both parties trying to control the entire divorce.  This may be due to a feeling of superiority, past control or abuse, or feeling of helplessness during the divorce proceeding.  Often clients, who may be at the top of their chosen profession are uncomfortable and fearful when heading toward divorce.  The inability to control the situation, or the inability to control their spouse which they formerly did control, places them in a position where they are out of their element. An experienced attorney will recognize these insecurities and discuss with the client the actual goals in the divorce.  Often, once the actual goals are determined, the basis for resolution can be achieved.  For example, a stated goal may be to "have 50% of the time with my kids."  This is often heard by divorce practitioners, whereas it may be impractical or even impossible.  An actual goal should be "to have both parents spend significant time with the children and to have them grow happy and healthy into young adults." Another example is that a spouse want to "take her husband to the cleaners."  This seldom occurs in divorces, but it should show the attorney that their is a desire to get even and often that the client has a financial insecurity.  A better actual goal would be "to be financially secure with a financial plan for the future after the dissolution is final." Some attorneys will not represent high conflict litigants.  Other only represent high conflict cases.  In my opinion, a good attorney should have a balance and limit the number of high conflict cases.  The attorney should make every effort to bring their own client to consider reasonable resolutions and to set realistic expectations from litigation.  If the opposing party/counsel will not do likewise, then the case may need judicial resolution. If you are looking for an attorney for a high conflict case, you should consult at least 2 or more prior to retaining your counsel.  For a discussion in Boone, Campbell or Kenton counties, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at [email protected]

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