Attitude · balance · Child Custody · Children of divorce · Co-parent Conflict · Co-parenting · Communication · Conflict · Coparenting · Coping · Courts · Custody · Custody Battles · Dads · Disclaimer · Divorce · divorce help · Divorce Nastiness · divorce with children · divorced parent mentors · ex spouse · families · Family · Family Court · Family Court System · Happiness · High Conflict Central · high conflict divorce · Hostile ex · Inspiration · Integrity · joint custody · Law · Legal System · life · Moms · optimism · Parent Support · Parenting · Parenting after Divorce · Parenting Time · Parents · personal growth · positivity · Public Information · Relationships · self care · Single parenting · Support · Support for divorced parents · toxic relationships · Unhealthy Relationships · Warnings

High Conflict Central Disclaimer

 Because it is really about getting back to our lives and our kids and having a mentor to guide you along the way and listen to your concerns and understand your struggle can help you do just that!  High Conflict Central is about parents connecting with parents to lend support.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Please read our disclaimer and keep this in mind as you read our posts.

High Conflict Central Full Disclaimer:

The information on this blog is based on personal opinions and insight. Our writers are not attorneys nor licensed psychologists. We are Divorce Mentors, Relationship Coaches and Alternative Dispute Resolution professionals.

A majority of people struggling in Family Court are having issues due to a hostile ex or unhealthy relationship patterns. It has little to do with the law. None of the information or opinions offered by the authors should be considered legal advice. High Conflict Central and the individual writers who post are not rendering legal or other professional services through this blog and disclaim any and all liability to any person who reads this blog. We encourage readers to do their own research into the information that is provided. Readers should keep in mind that many things factor into court processes and cases can be quite different depending on where they are in the process and what has already been decided in their case.

Personal stories are shared to raise awareness. Our purpose is to help people disengage from high conflict battles and move into a happier and healthier life, but is not meant as legal advice or therapy. If you need legal or psychological advice, please seek the help of those professionals. Our goal is to support you as you navigate systems and the professionals you meet along the way and to help you learn from our experiences in the high conflict divorces that we lived through.

balance · Break Ups · Change · Child Custody · children · Children of divorce · Co-parent Conflict · Co-parenting · Communication Tools · Confidence · Conflict · Coparenting · Coping · Court authorities · Courts · Custody · Custody Battles · Divorce · divorce help · Divorce Nastiness · divorce with children · divorced parent mentors · ex spouse · families · Family · Family Court · Family Court System · Fear · High Conflict Central · high conflict divorce · Hostile ex · joint custody · Law · Legal System · Parent Coordinator · Parent Support · Parental Alienation · Parental Alienation Syndrome-PAS · Parenting · Parenting after Divorce · Parenting Consultants · Parenting Coordinators · Parenting Time · Parents · self care · Support · Support for divorced parents · transformation

Children Need Their Parents

Image courtesy of John Hain at Pixabay.com

Children need their parents. This is particularly true during times of transition, such as divorce. The most challenging thing about going through divorce is to manage your own pain so that you can be the support your child needs. Divorce is a critical time for a family. Emotions are high. Sometimes parent conflict is extremely high to the point of insanity. If you are feeling so much stress and upset, just imagine what your children are feeling. They need their parents to reassure them that everything will be alright, but if you are not sure of that, it is hard to make them believe the words you tell them.

Many parents seek out help from lawyers or mediators to get through the divorce process. Some will even turn to a therapist. Those are good professionals to turn to, but the problem is that you may hear different things from each different player. A therapist is going to validate your feelings while a lawyer is going to tell you your feelings don’t matter. Everything will feel like it is tied to money when it is supposed to be about your children’s best interests.

Have you ever thought about seeking help from a coach-mentor? High Conflict Central has been involved with parents in conflict, especially parents going through divorce or post decree issues. We not only have a collective 21 years of experience in the process divorced parents have to go through, but also have experienced the pain. A requirement for our coach-mentors is that they have been through similar things to what you are going through. We can understand what you are talking about and help you understand the upside down and backwards experience of what it is like to go through family court in a way that your lawyer or therapist will never be able to do. We also understand the reason behind Family Court and what seems like insanity in their thinking and we want to help you understand, too. There is nothing that feels more like eternal darkness than trying to navigate a system that you are not prepared to navigate and do not understand.

High Conflict Central tries to be the link to connect all the pieces for you. While you may not want to spend money on coaching when you have high legal bills and concerns about your future, our clients will tell you that coaching helped decrease their lawyer bills and the number of interactions with court professionals like judges or parenting consultants. It will also help you feel supported and in the strongest possible position to help your child. Contact us to learn more about coaching services at High Conflict Central, a trademark of Susan Carpenter Coaching and Consulting.

Divorce · divorce help · ex spouse · Freedom · Uncategorized

Divorce and Loneliness


Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev at freedigitalphotos.net

How do you fight the loneliness when going through divorce, especially those first days when your kids are gone? It’s hard to sleep. The mind races. You just want to escape, but no matter where you would try to escape to, that racing mind goes with you. It can be crazy making time. Even if your ex is an ass and you feel somewhat relieved that they are gone, you will go through a mourning period. It’s OK to do that. It is normal to tell everyone how horrible your soon to be ex is, but then go home and miss them and wonder why you miss them when you make them sound so horrible.

Allow yourself the grieving time, as much as you need. Try to figure out in your head if it is your ex you miss or if you just miss having someone there for you when you come home. Maybe you just miss the security of another adult in the house for when something goes wrong. Maybe it’s  just that there used to be someone you could leave the kids with if you had to run to the store quickly and now you aren’t able to make quick runs to the store unexpectedly without taking the kids along for the ride. These are normal feelings. It’s OK to feel glad that this person you hate is gone, but 10 minutes later find yourself sobbing because they have left.

During divorce, people go through the exact same mourning process that they do when a loved one dies. It makes sense, in a way, it is the death of a relationship. So go through those feelings of loss. Be with people if you need to or stay away from people if you just don’t feel like socializing. Most likely, you will either sleep a lot or hardly at all, maybe you will alternate between the two. Many people lose a lot of weight during this time. Of course there is a feeling of profound sadness. Your life is changing. Maybe you weren’t prepared for that to happen. It is hard to deal with the shock, especially if you feel blind sided by the situation.

Once you feel a little more accepting of the situation and have made peace with everything, you may start feeling a little excited about the opportunity to reinvent your life, you will still find that loneliness still creeps in now and again. Where can you go on those lonely days?

It’s a very good idea to stay busy and take your mind off of your problems. Distractions can be a good thing. If you are having serious legal battles, keeping busy will help save your sanity. On weekends when the kids are with the other parent, carve that time out for yourself. Make sure to plan something fun to do. If you have some good friends, make some definite plans and don’t back out, even if you’re not feeling that great when the day comes. Try your best to go and have fun. Don’t spend the entire weekend on court matters. If your lawyer needs you to write a document with all the nitty, gritty details of your case for him/her, get it out of the way as soon as you can so you can still allow time for weekend fun. If the deadline for getting it completed is not approaching that quickly, save the task for a weeknight instead.

I know that many people have to also find new friends after they divorce. I have often joked that my ex got all the friends and I got all the bills. Well, in all honesty, those people were not my friends anyway. I have awesome, awesome, God sent friends now and I wouldn’t trade them for the world! If you need to get out and meet people, there are many ways to do that. You could volunteer. Is there someplace you have always wanted to volunteer, but never had time? Make the time now. You could volunteer at a school or a homeless shelter or food shelf. You could check in with some senior apartments or assisted living or nursing homes and go visit an elderly person who has no family to visit or read to a blind person or maybe play cards or do a puzzle with a shut in. They would love it! You could volunteer at church. If you don’t have a church, join one. You could sing in the choir or try something else. Churches often have groups that you can join, too. My church did not have a singles group when I inquired and so I started one!!!! I never got too many takers, but yet, I tried and it was a great experience for me. There are police and fire reserve units that always need volunteers. If you are musically inclined, you could check around with different cities nearby and see if there is a community band you could join. If you are looking to meet people there are literally thousands of groups of all different persuasions that you could join at meetup.com. They have groups for card playing, biking, hiking, singles, political groups, parent groups and many other things. Check it out, it’s pretty cool. I remember that I showed a friend of mine that had a Dachshund that they even had a Dachshund owners meetup! Do you want or need to increase your income? Go back to school. Trust me, you are never too old (just ask this woman) and you will be able to afford it. Whatever you do, just get out there and get involved. You will be amazed at the people you will meet!

 

High Conflict Central

Evidence from a Decade of Reuniting Alienated Children and Parents in the UK

We agree that this works. We have seen it work and nothing else ever does. You definitely cannot wait until the alienator “warms up” to the idea of allowing the child to see their other parent. That will only lead to YEARS of trauma.

Karen Woodall

It is a decade since I worked with Thomas Moore to assist in reuniting him with his son after many years apart.  You can read about his journey and our work together in his book ‘Please Let Me See My Son’.  This week Thomas called me to say hello and let me know that his son is well and living a normal and healthy life.  I knew then and I know now, that when we help children to recover from the induced psychological splitting which causes parental alienation, their life chances are good and the future looks bright. Having a healthy parent to return to is key to recovery and being able to hear from parents around the UK, whose children I have reunited with them, lets me know that in each and every case of severe parental alienation, the decision to intervene robustly is the right one.

View original post 1,431 more words

Abuse · Break Ups · Change · Child Custody · children · Children of divorce · Co-parent Conflict · Co-parenting · Communication · Conflict · Coparenting · Coping · Court authorities · Crazy Ex · Custody · Custody Battles · Denial of Parental Rights · Denial of Parenting Time · Divorce · divorce help · Divorce Nastiness · divorce with children · divorced parent mentors · Family Court · Fear · High Conflict Central · high conflict divorce · Hostile ex · Legal System · Life's Doors Mediation · Minnesota · Minnesota Courts · Parental Alienation · Parental Rights · Parenting · Parenting after Divorce · Parenting Consultants · Parenting Coordinators · Parenting Time · Parents · Relationships · Support for divorced parents

Who Do You Recommend for a Parenting Coordinator or Consultant?

Approved Seal by Naypong

 

As someone who has been working for almost 20 years to help parents navigate the very choppy waters of family court, I get a fair amount of calls and emails from parents who feel overwhelmed with how off track their case has become.  High conflict cases snowball into unimagineable craziness and parents desperately want to find ways to make it stop.  Much of the craziness doesn’t really come from court.  It really comes from the behavior of one or both parents.  When you get sucked into the vortex of the land of upside down and backwards, AKA family court, there is little that the legal system can offer to fix it.  Everything depends on the level of the cooperation between parents and their willingness to accept the reality of the situation and follow the prescripts that court professionals have to offer.  Unfortunately, there is no magic fairy dust.  There are no gold plated court orders that will make someone “follow the rules” or court orders.  Parenting is not an exact science, whether a couple is happily married or whether they are angrily, hostiley, vindictively or hatefully divorced.  The problem for divorced people is that you cannot put parenting on hold.  Married couples sometimes alternate parenting between each parent because they do not fear the other has plans to take the children away, but divorced parents battle over who gets to do what, often because fear or hurt feelings are driving the parenting.  Court orders cannot magically take fear or hurt feelings away.

In many cases, parents work through their fears and hurt feelings, and divorce drama can settle down to a level that will make the situation workable for children and parents, but in the case of high conflict, the battle continues to rage without end.  It is possible for the craziness to not only stay the same, but to increase.  It happens because one or both parents are very rigid and demanding and they are unable or unwilling to look at how they contribute to the conflict.  Until both parents can examine how they got to this point, there really is no way to move them forward.  So, even though the real burden is always on the parents, desperate parents beg the court for help.

Family court doesn’t have much to offer that will be of much help to you.  They operate with no-fault ideas for divorce.  You can blame all day long, but they don’t want to hear about it.  Court operates under “the best interests of the child” doctrine, which means that the court has been elevated to the keeper of your child’s best interests, regardless of what a parent might think their child’s best interests are, and the most they can offer you is usually some type of mental health services.  Even then, their options for mental health services in high conflict situations are a blend of law and psychology and sometimes, neither specialty does what it is supposed to do.  If those areas don’t work together, but are in conflict with each other they add more drama to the mix.  You end up being at the mercy of the biases and ideals that the professionals hold, often outside of court and outside of the application of law, but that is what they have to offer you if you cannot make it workable yourself.

About the only thing they can offer, once the Judgement and Decree has been signed, sealed and delivered, is  the services of a Parenting Consultant or Parenting Coordinator.  The term Parenting Consultant is exclusive to Minnesota.  The rest of the world calls them Parenting or Parent Coordinators.  What these professionals do is to act as a neutral party, who will case manage the parents’ communication and conflict, try to help the parents cooperate and make agreements about the children, but they will also make a decision when the parents are unable to agree.  It can be helpful, but it can also be a prison sentence.

Because of my personal and professional background in family court, parents seek out my wisdom on who they should choose as their parenting consultant.  Since I am in Minnesota, I know specifics about some of the PCs here.  Because I work one on one with parents as a divorce and conflict coach or parent educator, I have seen samplings from many of our local PCs and I know how they think or react.  That can be helpful when someone asks me who they should choose as a PC, but truthfully, you just cannot know how a PC will act in your case.

Over the years, I have had favorite PCs.  There have also been some PCs that I tell people to steer clear of.  Still, it is a hard call.  PCs can burn out.  PCs can come up with ideas that they think are really good and then see that they go bad.  PCs charge you a lot of money for their services and so if that is their sole motivation, they may enjoy seeing the conflict increase.  Every so often I see a PC do a phenomenal job and I recommend that individual very highly, but then something happens and they do a terrible job on the next case.  Did they suffer from burn out?  Are they too overloaded with cases?  Word gets around if they seem to know what they are doing.  Did they get ill?  Are they just tired of the pettiness?  What you may not understand is high conflict is not only stressful for you, but also stressful for the professionals.  I can speak to how difficult it is to witness some of the things parents will do to their child on a daily basis and be unable to do enough to put a stop to it or make the parent see their role in the conflict.  Performing the role of PC is not easy.  Being a prisoner (parent) of the role is frustrating, to say the least.

What you must remember is this.  The individuals who fill the role are human, just like you.  They make mistakes.  They get stressed.  They have no magic formula to make people cooperate, treat each other decently, put their children first, or “follow the rules”.  Your conflict may be different from the conflict they’ve managed in other families.  While conflict is very similarly rooted, the underlying issues or triggers may be different.  The interaction between parents may be very different.  The histories between parents may be very different.  The children’s personalities may be very different.  Parent’s personalities may clash with the personality of the Parenting Coordinator/Consultant.  A PC may be too passive to make a difference for you or they may be too aggressive to change an aggressive parent.  You can never really know how things will go in your particular case.

If you are planning to appoint a Parenting Coordinator/Consultant to your case or are struggling with one that you currently have, I strongly recommend coaching services.  Your approach to the process and with the professional will determine how well it can work.  Coaching can help you understand what is happening, especially when it makes no sense to you.  For more information on why your family cannot move forward, contact us.  We are always happy to see if we can make a difference for you and your child.

Also, regardless of where you live, if you have any recommendations for a Parenting Consultant or Parenting Coordinator, leave a comment.  Parents want to know about different professionals so that they don’t choose the wrong one.  Your feedback may spare another parent from a lot of grief.  Always keep in mind though, if a parent has approached the situation with ill intent, they probably will have a hard time with the PC on their case.  Everything is about perception.

Follow High Conflict Central.  Our goal is to help parents make a better life for themselves and their children.  You can read more about that here and here.  We are assembling a team of divorce mentors around the country.  If this is something you are interested in, either finding a mentor or training to become a mentor, contact us today.

PC services are part of what is offered by Life’s Doors Mediation, a sponsor of High Conflict Central.  Reach out to them if you are looking for PC services.  To learn about the difference between a PC and a PTE, sign up for our free e-course on the topic.

Abuse · child abuse · Child Custody · children · Children of divorce · Co-parent Conflict · Coparenting · Coping · Court authorities · Crazy Ex · Custody · Custody Battles · Dads · Denial of Parental Rights · Denial of Parenting Time · Divorce · divorce help · Divorce Nastiness · divorce with children · divorced parent mentors · ex spouse · families · Family · Family Court · Family Court System · Family Time · Guardian ad Litems · High Conflict Central · high conflict divorce · joint custody · Law · Legal System · Moms · Pain · Parent Support · Parental Alienation · Parental Alienation Syndrome-PAS · Parental Deprivation · Parental Rights · Parenting · Parenting after Divorce · Parenting Time · Relationships · Reunification Therapy · toxic relationships · Truth · Unhealthy Relationships

The View From The Mountain: A Decade of Working with PA in the UK — Karen Woodall

WordPress congratulated me today on a decade of blogging. I knew it was around this time I sat down to write my first blog on the subject of parental alienation, it was a Mother’s Day memorial for all the mothers without their children, it was for my mother who for a very long time had […]

via The View From The Mountain: A Decade of Working with PA in the UK — Karen Woodall

Abuse · child abuse · Child Custody · Children of divorce · Co-parent Conflict · Co-parenting · Conflict · Coparenting · Court authorities · Court investigations · Crazy Ex · Custody · Custody Battles · Dads · Denial of Parental Rights · Denial of Parenting Time · distrust · Divorce · divorce help · Divorce Nastiness · divorce with children · ex spouse · Family Court · Family Court System · Guardian ad Litems · High Conflict Central · high conflict divorce · joint custody · Moms · Parent Support · Parental Alienation · Parental Alienation Syndrome-PAS · Parental Rights · Parenting · Parenting Time · Parents · Relationships · Reunification Therapy · toxic relationships · Truth

Parental Alienation and the High Conflict Myth — Karen Woodall

A conflict, by definition, must involve two or more sides (unless it is within you). Therefore if parental alienation is about high conflict divorce it must mean that both of you are fighting. Or does it? One of the biggest myths that I encounter […]

via Parental Alienation and the High Conflict Myth — Karen Woodall

Break Ups · children · Children of divorce · Co-parent Conflict · Co-parenting · Communication · Conflict · Coparenting · Coping · couples · Dads · Divorce · Divorce Nastiness · divorce with children · ex spouse · Happiness · Healthy Relationships · High Conflict Central · high conflict divorce · joint custody · Moms · Parenting · Parents · Relationships · Video · Videos

Kids Do Say the Darnedest Things

She is so adorable.  I know it can be hard, but will you try to smile?  One day at a time.  Smile.  For the Kids.  Keep it low, OK?  I think we are going to try recruiting Tiana as a divorced parent mentor.  She has this figured out!