Submitted by a close associate, the high conflict child custody case study will offer pertinent details that show how difficult it can be for judges and associated personnel involved in child custody disputes to “spot the crazy” or identify the truly high-conflict personality.

High-Conflict Child Custody Case Study: “Peter Pan Case”

What the Father says: The mother has anger issues.  Dad claims that their three sons (ages 7, 10, and 12) are stifled because they are so fearful of Mom’s verbal abuse.  He is concerned that all three will be so “whipped” by her that they will never grow up to be “real men.”  He states repeatedly that he is relieved to finally be out on his own and away from her excessive control.

What the mother says: Father is a “Peter Pan” who never grew up. Dad teaches the boys absolutely no responsibility; and, if it weren’t for her, their sons would never have made it to practice or rehearsal, and would not be close to proficient at their respective sports and musical interests.  She is concerned that when the boys are with their Dad, homework doesn’t get done, personal hygiene is lacking, and dad is engaging in parental alienation;  disparaging her and disrespect her under the guise of “Dad’s house, Dad’s rules.”

A child custody evaluation concludes that both parents are adequate in their parenting skills, and although the Dad was indeed inadvertently alienating the Mom with his “buddy” parenting style, once he took a parenting class.  There he learned better parenting techniques.  He was committed to improving in this arena.  Mom asserts that the only time the Dad carried the boys to their extra-curricular activities was during the evaluation period, and once the report had been submitted, he returned to his same old irresponsible ways.

This is all the judge has in front of her.

With just this information, how would you rule? What would you do next? Were you able to spot the personality disorder (and, there absolutely was one)?  The child custody evaluator missed it.

Take a moment and then click here for the conclusion of the case: High Conflict Child Custody Case: Peter Pan Conclusion