Stokes & Stokes 2014 FamCA 333

The judge commented that marriage breakdown often produces emotional turmoil and conflict that impacts on young children and that high conflict between parents can have devastating effects on a child’s emotional development.  It is not uncommon to see otherwise good parents, caught up in conflict with their former partner, unable to recognise or to accept the importance to their children of being able to maintain a meaningful relationship with the other parent.

Often, parents who have successfully co-parented and respected and valued each other’s importance in the lives of their children prior to separation, become convinced post-separation that they are the only parent who is capable of appropriately caring for their children and determining what is in the best interests of their child.

Sometimes children have little respite from the parental conflict. Sometimes, a parent the child lives with becomes more and more angry with the other parent and more and more determined to minimise, or even remove entirely the other parent’s influence in the lives of the children, where this determination clouds that parent’s better judgment.