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High-Conflict Custody Battle: Protect Yourself and Your Kids from a Toxic Divorce, False Accusations, and Parental Alienation Paperback – 29 Jan 2015


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"Having recently tried the most publicized parental alienation case to a successful conclusion, I highly recommend this book for parents coping with an alienating spouse. The authors have provided an effective guide to assist parents through difficult litigation. This book should be read by every targeted parent." --Jim Pritikin, fellow of The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

Book Description

In The High Conflict Custody Battle, a team of legal and psychology experts present a practical guidebook for people going through a high-conflict custody battle.

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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Solid, field-tested advice 25 Dec. 2014
By Waggle Dancer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Solid, well-informed, nitty gritty, useful information. This book now forms the backbone of my efforts, particularly the list of what to ask for when going to court, in chapter 9. This is not a flashy book, but the advice comes from current experience of a researcher who is active in a very specialized field. The advice I've gotten from most everyone else (including therapists and attorneys) has gone astray in one way or another but what I've gotten from Dr Baker is holding up the test of time. Because she consults regularly with parents who are experiencing parental alienation, and also does research on the subject, her recommendations come battle-tested. This is not a feel-good book, because the subject is not feel good, but I wish I'd had it from the beginning, because even my lawyer and therapists have made mistakes this book could have prevented. Now I'm using this book to help pick up those pieces.

Also, this book is doesn't have a lot of background about the demographics and development of (what's more or less being known as) alienation; it's about actions to take if you already believe alienation describes your situation. There are also exercises to do in some chapters, which seem very simplistic if you don't do them, but I've found invaluable. One was to make a list of your worst fears and then make some attempt to figure out just how likely they really are.

One mistake I could have avoided if I'd known about this book is that any therapy ordered by the court has to include both parents, not just the targeted parent and children. When the favored parent is omitted from the order for therapy, everyone involved tends to assume that the problem resides with the targeted parent. This exacerbates rather than helps the very problem it is intended to solve. Otherwise competent professionals can be misled by this, which is probably a form of cognitive bias.

Another mistake I could have avoided is that if the children participate in therapy to help heal the relationship, it should not be insight-oriented, which is intended to form a bond between therapist and client in order to facilitate trust, in which the client tells about their feelings and the therapist validates the clients feelings. Education-oriented therapy is more appropriate, because the problem being treated is that the children have developed misperceptions about the targeted parent. The last thing they need is a therapist who says, "Tell me more about why you feel your parent is so terrible."

The most important advice I've received from Dr Baker - and I don't remember if it's from this book or one of her others - is that no matter what happens, the targeted parent must keep showing up and use empathic responding every time to interact with the children, even if it's only for one minute. Following that advice has resulted in my parent time going from a total shut-out to being able to actually have interactions with my children.

This book is kinda tough-love-ish in places. When your reputation with your own loved ones is being denigrated, it's tempting to want reassurance. There is reassurance here; but sometimes the right advice is that you have to find a way to suck it up in order to wade into the fray. It doesn't feel good. But it's necessary, and it works. Also, the reunification therapy described at the end sounds dreamy but is hugely expensive, only available in a few places, and not yet widely recognized by courts. We as a society are still new to developing solutions to this problem.

Other recommended titles are Bill Eddy's What's Your Proposal and Margalis Fjelstad's Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist. Also recommended for more ideas on how to respond well to the children for the time you do get is John Gottman and Daniel Goleman's Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child; although the examples of parents who get to be with their children are heartbreaking when you don't have much access to yours, there are some very insightful tips about how to orient your thinking so that you can maintain an empathic response.

I'm rating this five stars not because it's perfect, but because I recommend it as an essential tool in the arsenal for parents who are experiencing one of the most devastating scenarios possible. When your children and your reputation are turned against you, you need to know which tools you can rely on. This is one of them.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Some good general advice 13 Dec. 2014
By Andy Gough - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some good general advice. Focused on US and Canadian legal system, so different terminology and system to Australian system I am dealing with. I read this a bit late in the case, but it's good advice for anyone just beginning this awful process. Good luck to you!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Review 25 Feb. 2015
By ElmerFudd - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a well written book with a systematic evaluation of phychological and legal issues.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
and get a GOOD attny who is NOT Collaborative if your EX does ... 23 Nov. 2014
By 14Patti - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Get this book and read it before your divorce, I got it after and wish I had it before, and get a GOOD attny who is NOT Collaborative if your EX does not have the same, after 6 long yrs of ongoing conflict from ex and his attny who is definately on a negative path-it never is ending...of course his attny is very happy$$$$$, but our son is the one paying for their acts-
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
informative 2 Jan. 2015
By Reids - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Informative but could have more practical advice.
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