Treloar, R (2018) High-conflict divorce involving children: Parents’ meaning-making and agency. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 40 (3). 340 -361. ISSN 0964-9069

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Most research, policy discussion and intervention is based on outsider-expert understandings that categorise divorces as well as parents enmeshed in ‘high-conflict’ disputes in polarised and individualised terms. Little, however, is known about parents’ experiences of these disputes, or how they fare in the longer term. This article draws on in-depth semi-structured interviews with 25 mothers and fathers in British Columbia, Canada, who experienced a high-conflict divorce and later came to see the experience as having been transformative despite the many difficulties they faced. Overall, the research found that positive change occurs over time when parents are supported with resources that address their particular needs and challenges. Parents change, make meaning and respond to their circumstances across the life course, thereby exercising agency. This process also occurs in a social, political and legal context that changes over time and across generations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final version of this article is available online at
Uncontrolled Keywords: high-conflict divorce, family justice system, parents' experiences, meaning-making, agency, life course
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2019 10:37
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2019 16:04

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