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Entries in Kruk (1)


High conflict separations shouldn't prevent shared parenting

Dr Edward KrukAn article by Dr Edward Kruk in Psychology Today puts the arguments for shared parenting in high-conflict separations, giving a useful roundup of the results from recent research studies.

He refers to various recent studies that contradict a presumption that the amount of parenting time should be limited in cases of high conflict. High conflict should not be used to justify restrictions on children’s contact with either of their parents.

He goes on to point out that: " research has demonstrated that sole custody is associated with exacerbation or creation of conflict, as fully half of first-time violence occurs after separation, within the context of the adversarial “winner-take-all” sole custody system."

Dr Kruk suggests that the main therapeutic task in high conflict families is to help divorcing parents separate their previous marital hostilities from their ongoing parenting responsibilities. Parents who remain challenged in this regard also have the option of parallel co-parenting. Over time, as the dust settles, parallel parenting may become replaced by a more cooperative co-parenting arrangement.

FNF Scotland sometimes hears of sheriffs who reject proposals for shared parenting in cases where there is still significant amount of conflict between parents.  While we don't deny that such conflict is not good for the children involved, or indeed their parents, we suggest that the eventual benefits of shared parenting should be taken very seriously.