Cases can simply get out of control quickly when high conflict attorneys enter divorce cases. It is difficult for individuals to remember their true roles as parents when an opposing attorney acts aggressively towards them. Family Law Attorney’s who handle divorce disputes regularly will tell you that it is hard to direct the case TOWARD resolution when opposing attorneys take a combat stance. These skilled trial attorneys are extremely effective in handling high conflict cases. The true question is whether or not the case merits classification as a high conflict case.
So how do we move the case towards resolution when all the opposing attorney wants is prolonged conflict? There are a few answers to this question, for the moment, lets talk about the role that an amicus has in a family law case that is not high conflict.
Appoint an Amicus: The amicus attorney has the best chance to direct the case OUT of conflict. An amicus first off is neutral, he or she has no dog in the fight and therefore his or her views are seen as truly objective. The best approach in high conflict cases is for the amicus to direct the parties to a appropriate mental health professional. The amicus must request mental health experts be appointed that can maintain a nuetral stance and be involved solely for the best interest of the child/ren in a divorce. Having a therapist who will become an advocate for one side or another will do nothing more than perpetuate conflict. The trick is to get the parties talking through an intermediary who will focus parents on how to act so they can meet the needs of their children. If the case is NOT high conflict perhaps the appointment can avoid the need for a court ordered social study. Less time in court, less cost and less conflict, those should be the true goals of the amicus attorney in managing cases that are truly not high conflict.
The theory is if you can get the parties talking they will not want to continue to pay their lawyers large sums of money and reach agreements all by themselves. Remember WHO you are asking be your mental health expert. There are all types of degrees, classifications and expertises that mental health professionals have. Understand who you are appointing, understand what experience they have and assess how they will impact your divorcing parents BEFORE they begin work. If you assess the battlefield before the conflict begins you will have the best chance of directing the conflict towards peaceful settlement.