What is a High Conflict Personality Type?

Family law can often bring out high conflict behaviours, due to the highly personal nature of family law matters. A high conflict personality type is more likely to display:

• A rigid and uncompromising position
• An inability to accept or heal from loss
• Excessive negative thinking
• An inability to self-reflect
• Difficulty empathising with others
• A tendency to lack accountability and blame others
• Signs of aggression

Whilst some individuals are more predisposed to react in a high conflict manner, we are all capable of exhibiting these behaviours in certain situations. Therefore, it Is important to identify when a party is displaying signs of high conflict, so that the behaviour can be managed as best as possible to facilitate progression of a matter in a controlled way.

How to Approach High Conflict?

It is not uncommon for high conflict parenting matters to involve a multifaceted approach to diffuse tension and work towards a fair outcome.

Some helpful ways to manage high conflict parenting matters include:

Setting up a Detailed Parenting Plan or Parenting Orders

Having a well drafted and detailed parenting plan or orders can significantly reduce the potential of future disputes arising. A family lawyer can assist in setting out clear provisions for certain aspects of parenting such as:
• Living arrangements during school terms, school holidays and special occasions
• Telephone communication with the child
• Travel arrangements interstate and overseas
• Communication when the child is sick or requires medical treatment

Limiting Direct Communication

It is important to reduce direct communication with a high conflict party where possible. Keeping a written record of any correspondence and making sure any necessary written communication is clear and succinct is important to avoid potential miscommunication or misunderstanding.

Engaging in Alternative Dispute Resolution

Commencing court proceedings is not only a costly and time-consuming exercise, but this method of resolution can often perpetuate high conflict behaviour. Whilst the litigation pathway is necessary at times when parties are at gridlock and the conflict cannot be managed, considering methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution, such as mediation, can often assist in de-escalating high conflict in a cost efficient and timely manner. A skilled mediator can employ techniques such as splitting the parties into separate rooms, to create a more controlled setting and encourage joint discussions.

Parenting Coordination

Parenting Coordination, whilst a relatively new dispute resolution technique, can assist parties in implementing parenting plans or orders and minimise opportunities for conflict to arise. This technique has a child centred focus and is designed to protect children by mitigating high-conflict situations and preventing disputes from returning to the Family Court. Parenting Co-ordinators are trained professionals in areas such as law, social work and dispute resolution. These individuals are skilled in assisting parties in establishing effective communication, interpreting parenting plans or court orders and transitioning from former partners in dispute to effective co-parents.

What Next?

Our team are experienced in dealing with high conflict parenting matters and can assist in redirecting high conflict in order to achieve an amicable solution. If you are dealing with a high conflict matter and require assistance, contact us today.

About Us

Cominos Family Lawyers (CFL) was established in 2010. Since this time, we believe in a world where people divorce and separate with dignity, respect, and care.

It is our mission to deliver clear, timely and relatable advice for all our clients.  Trust. Integrity. Care.

Contact us, email info@cominoslawyers.com.au or call 02 8999 1800.


The information contained in this article is intended for general information only and is not to be relied upon as legal advice.

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