In recent years, shared parenting has spread across the US as the norm in child custody determinations. Giving Mom and Dad equal time with their kids is increasingly recognized as a healthy approach. Now, new research supports the idea that kids need both parents, but with an interesting twist. The important thing is the quality of the child’s relationship with the mother and father, according to the research, and this outweighs conflict between the two parents as a unit. Research has also shown that kids can be damaged by conflict, but the researcher Lisa Nielsen thinks conflict in many cases is a temporary state. Conflict often subsides as divorce heals, or conflict can be a tactic used by parents in an adversarial divorce. Although conflict can subside, the consequences of unequal custody decisions can last a lifetime.

Luckily, divorce mediation means you don’t have to choose between conflict or unequal parenting (assuming your co-parent isn’t abusive or negligent). Still, if you’re in a high conflict co-parenting relationship it may be difficult to see a way forward. At Boileau Conflict Solutions, we are experienced in negotiating complex and/or sensitive parenting plans. From international parenting plans, to high conflict co-parenting relationships, we incorporate our backgrounds in psychoanalysis into our divorce mediation practice. We use attachment theory and other psychological principles to ensure that children’s sensitive developmental and individual needs are always considered. Some conflict is an inevitable feature of any divorce. We use game theory to understand the motives behind conflict to resolve differing interests and find common ground on which to build a stable parenting relationship. We go beyond “quickie” divorce mediation solutions to offer longtime conflict management in parenting relationships, if needed.

“If you want to hasten the process of healing, or at least tolerance, the worst thing you can do is declare one person a winner and one person a loser”

“You’re both winners. You’re both going to be parents. That will actually diminish conflict.”

-Dr Ned Holstein, founder of the National Parents Organization:

Taking responsibility to love and guide your child through life can actually be a healing process in itself. Allowing parents to be parents benefits children and parents. At Boileau Conflict Solutions, we can help you prioritize a healthy and loving parenting relationship by reducing the impact of conflict and win-lose thinking. Making shared parenting a reality will involve different strategies for everyone. Mediation is a flexible, confidential process that can offer more tailored solutions than predefined court custody outcomes. We are available 7 days a week, and in urgent crisis situations. Please visit us at our offices in Campbell, CA, Irvine, CA or Boulder, CO, or call us on Skype, Zoom, Facetime or telephone to find out how we can help.

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