With approximately 50% of marriages ending in divorce in the U. S., children have a high probability of experiencing their parents divorce. High levels of parental conflict are common at the time of separation, litigation, and the issuance of final divorce decree. In 20 to 30% of divorces conflict continues and becomes chronic. While divorce is always stressful for children, high conflict divorces are the most stressful, with children suffering not only the harmful effects of familial dissolution, but also those related to their exposure to chronic, often violent discord. The author offers suggestions for working with adolescents whose parents are involved in high conflict divorces based on his experience both as a forensic evaluator in over 500 cases of contested custody and as a therapist for divorcing families and their children.
Keywords: Divorce, children of divorce, custody, high-conflict divorce, psychotherapy, forensic evaluation, marriages, parental conflict, separation, litigation, chronic, stressful, contested custody
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