to a life of unrest, unease and instability for children111 – especially children with high-conflict112
parents. This shaky lifestyle filled with frequent moves exhausts and negatively impacts the
children involved. 113 Essentially, the child is involved in a world of constant instability and a
seemingly endless tug-of-war in between both parents and households – both of whom the child
feels closely bonded. 114
The law mistakenly presumes that all parents are mature enough to be outwardly civil
with one another for the sake of their children following the breakdown of their relationship. 115
Though many divorces or separations do end amicably and many parents can remain respectful
to one another following a separation for their children, it is naïve to assume that the child
custody cases standing before a judge fall into such a courteous and relatively respectful
The emotional and financial cost of litigation is too great a burden for parents who can
find it within themselves to compromise and work together to create an arrangement that is
workable for all parties or one that would be best for the child involved. Parents who resort to
litigation prove by default that they cannot agree and work together; because of the intensity of
child custody cases, resorting to litigation also shows that the parents are likely high-conflict117
Candidly, the parents’ inability to co-parent118 or compromise is evident if the parties litigate. In
111 See Hardcastle, supra note 107, at 201-02.
112 See ELROD & DALE, supra note 93, at 384, 387 (high-conflict is the term used to describe parents who cannot
effectively communicate; any interaction is counter-productive, increasing the hostility and negativity surrounding
the co-parenting relationship.).
113 See Hardcastle, supra note107, at 201-02.
115 Scott & Derdeyn, supra note 110, at 457.
116 See Hardcastle, supra note 107, at 219.
117 See id. at 214.
118 See ELROD & DALE, supra note 93, at 397 (co-parenting explains the action of parenting together, even though
the parents’ romantic relationship has terminated and communicating effectively for the well-being of the child.).