Here Are Some Tools That Can Reduce Conflict
Video Transcribed: What are some tools you can use to make joint custody work in a high-conflict situation? My name is Brian L. Jackson. I am a Tulsa father’s rights attorney here with Dads.Law where fathers are not disposable.
I want to talk about some of the tools that courts can bring to bear, or you can request the court to bring to bear to help make joint custody work in a situation where it is a high conflict scenario.
Some of the different levels of intervention can be used depending on the nature of the conflict. I wrote a basic one and I request these a lot, which is what’s called a judicial order of parental conduct. Now what that is you can think of kindergarten rules. It’s basically the kind of thing like don’t harass each other, don’t talk crap in front of the kid, don’t try to damage the other party’s relationship with the child, keep your visits, that kind of thing.
I usually would describe it as kindergarten rules because a lot of it is common sense stuff. That’s a basic intervention that can be added into a case on top of the automatic injunction that would address those kinds of problems on a fairly non-invasive level.
If you are dealing with a situation where there’s a lot of disrespectful talk between the parents and it’s escalated, then sometimes a parenting app can help. Now, one of the advantages of a parenting app is that parenting apps work similar to text messaging, except in one key way, text messages can be deleted and they can be altered pretty readily to be characterized in a way that is not accurate to what’s actually going on the ground.
So with a parenting app, the text communications are locked in the app and it will preserve a record of everything that everybody has said. And you can kind of think of it kind of like when people talk in church, they tend to be on their best behavior. When people talk in open court, they tend to be on their best behavior because there are witnesses there and they know they’re on the record.
The same idea applies here, you’re on the record and everyone knows that. So it tends to foster higher-quality communication and better behavior. But if that fails, you now have a backup record of what you said, what she said to take to court with you. So parenting apps are actually a really useful tool and they’re not very expensive. I mean, you can get them, there are a few available for free. There are some that come at a pretty low monthly cost. That’s a good thing to have if you have a high-conflict situation.
But what if you’re dealing with one of those deals where you guys really don’t get along and you just cannot get on the same page? Well, another potential option for a high-conflict divorce is the parenting coordinator.
Now, parenting coordinators kind of act like a referee, and it’s almost like a mediation-type role where they’re there to try to build consensus between the parents, and you are empowered to make recommendations. In some cases, they can make minor on-the-spot decisions that would then be referred to the court.
Parenting coordinators have a few advantages. One, you can get someone who’s a professional who would hopefully be able to, they don’t have a dog in the fight, and their only interest is in trying to do what’s right for the child and get the parents on the same page. So they can come as a neutral voice and they’re there to kind of pick a side if a decision needs to be made and the parents just aren’t agreeing.
Another advantage is that because the parenting coordinator costs money, and they usually are charging rates similar to attorneys, it encourages the parents to figure out their differences so they don’t have to pay thousands of dollars to the parenting coordinator. And of course, they generate a record for the court so if there are problems they will get reported back to the court for future action by the court as it deems necessary.
So those are some options available to make joint custody work even if you really don’t get along with your baby mama. If you have questions about any of those options or you need help from a men’s divorce lawyer in Oklahoma with the situation you are dealing with, I would encourage you to go to Dads.Law where fathers are not disposable.