Scottsdale High-Conflict Divorce & Custody Lawyers

Divorce and child custody cases—as well as other family law issues—always have a potential for at least some level of conflict between the parties. Conflict is not surprising given the issues the parties are dealing with in a divorce or custody case. Parties are often hurt emotionally, worried about their relationships with their children, and worried about their future security. Even with a potential for conflict, many parties can resolve their disputes without rising to a level that would be considered a high-conflict divorce or custody matter. Cases can escalate to a high-conflict case for several reasons. Where possible, parties should act to defuse the situation and avoid the escalation all together. Failure to do so can have lasting impacts on the case and the parties’ ability to co-parent in the future. Having the right legal team on your side can help deescalate the case and/or avoid escalation all together.

What Makes a Divorce or Child Custody Case High-Conflict?

There are several variables that can contribute to making a divorce or child custody case high conflict.

  • Emotions are running high. Of course, the obvious answer is that people have strong emotions during these cases. These emotions sometimes cause people to act differently than they normally would.
  • One party is hurt. This ties into the emotions but when one party is hurt, they often act inappropriately or even with malice.
  • One party NEEDS to be right. This can pose a large problem in a case because people lose focus on what is actually important and often risk what is most important in order to be “right.” There are few circumstances where—the driving force in a case is that one party needs to be “right”—is appropriate in family law. More often, it leads to a costly litigation and damaged relationships.
  • One party maintains an unreasonable position. When a party maintains a position that is contrary to law, the facts of the case, or is just outright meritless, it can cause tempers to flare. Fortunately, there are tools to help resolve these situations during the case. Unfortunately, sometimes the parties will need court intervention to resolve these situations.
  • Domestic Violence/Substance Abuse/Other Dangerous Situations. Unfortunately, these issues are prevalent in family law and often require more intervention from the court. But, given the severity of the potential consequences, court intervention is often necessary to protect yourself and your children.
  • The other party’s attorney. Sometimes, the other party’s attorney can add to the high conflict. Some people feel like the other party’s attorney is constantly harassing them, telling them they need to do things or provide information. Often, these are normal requests and it helps to have an attorney on your side not only explain the requests to you but deal directly with the other attorney.

What Should the Focus Be During a High-Conflict Family Law Case?

So what do you do to deescalate or avoid a case becoming high conflict altogether?

  • Focus on your actions. Ultimately, you cannot control the actions of the other party. Experienced family law attorneys know tools and resources to help curtail the actions of the other part. That might require getting an order from the court where appropriate. But you can control your actions. Heed your attorneys’ advice and do not forget that everything you do, say, and write could end up being read by your judge.
  • Seek professional help. Getting yourself in the right mindset can go a long way in your case. Mental health professionals or courses such as high conflict parenting classes can be extremely beneficial. Of course, an experienced family law attorney can also go a long way towards resolving a high-conflict case. Don’t forget, most of the time you cannot control the actions of other people but you can prepare yourself for their actions by being mentally strong and having an experienced team on your side.
  • Honest discussions with your attorney. Have open and honest conversations about what is most important to you in your case. Discuss the strengths of your positions with your attorney and weigh the potential outcomes. There are absolutely times to dig in your heels and fight for what you are entitled to—especially when the other side is being unreasonable—but there are ways to do so professionally and that do not unnecessarily enflame the situation.

Making a Difference in High-Conflict Cases

Our attorneys are experienced in litigating high-conflict cases. We work to avoid escalating the conflict and deescalating the conflict wherever possible. Of course, we cannot control the actions of others—sometimes it is necessary to request court intervention when parties are acting unreasonable, contrary to law, or dangerously—but we can act professionally and with integrity during our representation which can make a big difference when you find yourself in front of a judge. Contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to discuss how we would approach your case and help you find resolution.

Burggraff Tash Levy PLC logo

8980 E Raintree Dr #110, Scottsdale, AZ 85260 Phone: (480) 307-6800

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