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Effects of a High-Conflict Divorce on Your Family

The divorce rate in the United States falls between 40% and 50% and, all too often, these separations become battlefields that are short on victories and long on collateral damage. High-conflict divorces account for about 15% of the family court cases in the United States, but they eat up 90% of resources. 

At Southlake Counseling, Kimberly Krueger, MSW, LCSW, and our team of caring therapists understand that there are no winners in a high-conflict divorce — in fact, the damage can have long-term implications for adults and children alike.

Here’s just a brief look at the potential effects that a high-conflict divorce can have on your family and how we can help address it. 

Dragging out the conflict

A high-conflict divorce often comes on the heels of a high-conflict marriage, so the decision to split is usually the wisest course of action for all involved. While expediency should be key, unfortunately, these divorces often get mired down in win-less battles that drag all members of the family into the fray — and the toll can be costly.

The point here is that the divorce itself may be beneficial in the long run, allowing family members to thrive again without the stress and anxiety of ever-present conflict. Conversely, if the divorce turns into a continuation of the high-conflict marriage, the mounting pile of damage only grows.

The effect on children

When it comes to divorce, there are times when kids benefit greatly — studies show that children experience less anxiety and depression when they no longer have a front-row seat to combative parents.

Kids who are stuck in the middle of a high-conflict divorce, however, don’t fare nearly as well and are often left with behavioral and emotional issues that result from trauma and high-stress environments. 

To give you an idea of the issues that come with high-conflict divorce, an article in Psychiatric Times outlined a few that children often face:

These issues are just starting points, and they often lead to poor academic performance, issues with socializing, increasing physical problems, and more.

Moving forward from conflict

At our practice, we have extensive experience helping families to move forward from conflict. While children are often the unwitting victims in these scenarios, we’d like to stress that the parents who are fighting face their own mental, emotional, and physical health issues. In other words, our goal is to help every member of the family move forward without conflict.

To accomplish this, we turn to two methods:

New Ways for Families is a structured parenting skills program designed to reduce tension and harm to family members during a high-conflict divorce. This method emphasizes:

The bottom line is that a high-conflict divorce can be just as damaging as a high-conflict marriage, and our goal is to put an end to the conflict, once and for all.

To learn more about better navigating a high-conflict divorce, please contact one of our two locations in Charlotte or Davidson, North Carolina, by calling or requesting an appointment online today.

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