Excerpted from The Future of Family Court STRUCTURE, SKILLS AND LESS STRESS

by Bill Eddy, LCSW, CFLS;  Author of Managing High Conflict People in Court Bill Eddy's latest book addresses the difficulties and possible solutions to dealing with high-conflict parents in family court. Although written for judicial officers, anyone dealing with the family court can benefit from reading this book. Available in hard copy from HCI Press.

Parenting Coordinators One of the ultimate solutions to removing high--conflict families from the Family Court adversarial process is to mostly remove the case from family court after the big decisions are made. Since high-conflict parents often return to court many times after the divorce is over, Parenting Coordinators are a valuable alternative for parents who still cannot make their own decisions. By ordering or encouraging the parents to stipulate to a Parenting Coordinator, they will have someone they can go to with petty complaints without incurring the cost of court and without the court having to deal with such petty matters.

Parenting Coordinators are usually trained mental health professionals or lawyers who have some degree of authority to resolve minor disputes between the parents. They can hear the parents on short notice and make decisions with little expense. Depending on the jurisdiction, Parenting Coordinators’ decisions are enforceable or are considered recommendations which the parents can challenge at court if they feel strongly enough about the decision.

Parenting Coordinators can also recommend or order further counseling, parenting classes and/or skills-building programs, to help them strengthen their own conflict resolution skills and parenting skills. Remember, with high-conflict parents, “the issue’s not the issue.” If they are primarily seeking validation, revenge, dominance, and so forth, they should do it outside of court as much as possible.

To read more of The Future of Family Court purchase your copy today, simply click here!


High Conflict Institute provides training and consultations, as well and books, DVDs and CDs regarding dealing with High Conflict People (HCPs) in legal, workplace, educational, and healthcare disputes. Bill Eddy is the President of the High Conflict Institute and the author of It’s All Your Fault!, Splitting, BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People, Their Hostile Emails, Personal Attacks and Social Media Meltdowns and Don’t Alienate the Kids! He is an author, attorney, mediator, and therapist. Bill has presented seminars to attorneys, judges, mediators, ombudspersons, human resource professionals, employee assistance professionals, managers, and administrators in 25 states, several provinces in Canada, France, Sweden, and Australia. For more information about High Conflict Institute, our seminars and consultations, Bill Eddy or to purchase a book, CD or DVD, visit: www.highconflictinstitute.com