The family justice system is continually challenged by a sub-set of coparents, roughly 8-12% (Kelly, 2012),  where  their conflict escalates and becomes entrenched and intractable, impairing their ability to implement shared parenting arrangements. This workshop describes a model of intractable conflict derived from the international peacekeeping context (Burgess, 2015;  Deutsch and Sullivan, in press)  to describe the phases of conflict emergence and escalation that can occur with separating parents and how critical it is to provide them with legal and psychological interventions that de-escalate this toxic conflict.  The early phases of conflict escalation described in this model  are then utilized to suggest which coparenting interventions and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes  are better suited  to prevent, manage and resolve conflict escalation.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to describe the 3 phases of conflict escalation that occur on the left side of the intractable conflict curve
  • Participants will understand the components of early psycho-educational group interventions that can curb conflict escalation in coparents
  • Participants will understand the difference/utility of confidential and non-confidential (recommending) mediation in resolving parenting plan disputes