Process Choice in High-Conflict Divorce
Traditionally, alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation and collaborative divorce are seen as a good fit for couples who are civil to each other and simply need a professional to support them in the legal aspects of the process. But Bill Eddy argues that the non-adversarial processes are crucial for high-conflict people navigating divorce.
Bill Eddy is a lawyer, therapist, mediator and the co-founder and Training Director of the High Conflict Institute. He has become an international expert on managing disputes involving high-conflict personalities and personality disorders, and he provides training on the subject to professionals all over the world. Bill is a Certified Family Law Specialist and the Senior Family Mediator at the National Conflict Resolution Center in Sand Diego. He is the author of several books, including High Conflict People in Legal Disputes, Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and BIFF: Quick Responses to High-Conflict People.
Today, Bill sits down with Katherine to explain why high-conflict people need a non-adversarial divorce process. He shares the benefits of consulting a lawyer during the mediation process and the significance of going into alternative dispute resolution with a focus on the future. Bill describes what is involved in his pre-mediation coaching as well as his approach to mediation when a restraining order is involved. Listen in for Bill’s insight on communicating with high-conflict people and finding a lawyer who supports mediation and the collaborative divorce process.
Why high-conflict people need a non-adversarial divorce process
- Court escalates adversarial thinking
- Gives rise to false allegations, abuse
How high-conflict people are more sensitive to feeling attacked
The benefit of consulting a lawyer during the mediation process
The value of a divorce financial analyst in alternative dispute resolution
How informed consent serves as the key to a non-adversarial process
What’s involved in Bill’s pre-mediation coaching
How Bill handles mediation when a restraining order is involved
How collaborative teaches high-conflict couples communication skills
How parenting plans can be structured around limited contact in extreme cases
How the self-doubt people feel during divorce is exacerbated by lack of respect
The techniques Bill recommends for communicating with high-conflict people
- EAR—empathy, attention and respect
- BIFF—brief, informative, friendly and firm (i.e.: email, Facebook)
Why Bill suggests finding a lawyer who will support mediation/collaborative divorce
Connect with Bill Eddy
Connect with Katherine Miller
The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Miller
Call (914) 738-7765