High-conflict custody cases often involve complex issues, many court filings, and sometimes several attorneys. Taking over one of these cases can be a high stakes game of catch-up for both you and the attorney you hire. That requires additional time and more skill than coming in at the beginning of a custody case. This blog discusses what to consider and look for when searching for an attorney to take over a high-conflict custody case.
Splitting up or divorcing can be emotional and there are times when child custody and parenting time simply cannot be amicably agreed upon. When this causes so much parental conflict that the court turns into a battle ground, unintended psychological harm may come to the children.1 Therefore, it is particularly important in high-conflict custody cases to find an experienced attorney who can quickly sort out the issues and help calm the situation.
High-conflict custody cases can be very time consuming and not all attorneys will have the availability to give your case the attention that it needs. This can lead to more frustration for a parent and as a result, more conflict. Attorneys who regularly handle high-conflict custody cases may be able to better judge the amount of time that will be required than those who do not have the right experience with the level of conflict in your case.
Experience with not only high-conflict custody cases, but with the specific issues causing the conflict in your matter can help your attorney resolve your disputes more quickly and efficiently. The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines defines what it calls “high-conflict parties” as those who have had ongoing disagreements and conflict centered around their “inability to communicate and resolve issues regarding the care of the child, a parenting time schedule, or any other issues that have adversely affected the child.”2
Other issues that may be affecting a child in high-conflict custody cases can include:
- Substance abuse of one or both of the parties
- A parent who refuses to be reasonable
- Domestic or family violence
- Mental health issues
- A long distance between parent residences
Your attorney should fully understand these type of issues that could be contributing to the conflict in your case to properly advise you and choose the best course of action. Most attorneys who regularly handle high-conflict custody cases have intimate knowledge of these issues and how to account for them in a high-conflict custody case. If your counsel does not, he or she is probably not the right fit for your case.
When considering an attorney for any high-conflict custody case, think about whether the attorney is someone you can listen to and trust to make decisions about what your best course of action might be. Indiana Courts make custody determinations based on the best interests of the child. Even with a skilled professional representing you, it is you that will have to do much of the work required to convince the court that the custody arrangement you are seeking is in the child’s best interest. Your attorney can advise you on how to do that, but you will need to be able to take that advice.
If you are involved in a high-conflict custody case and need an attorney to take over, the experienced attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. can help get your case resolved and get you back to spending peaceful time with your children. This blog was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. It is for general educational purposes. It is not intended to be relied upon for any legal matter or issue. The blog is not legal advice. This is an advertisement.