Parental conflict and bargaining in custody and divorce negotiations : toward a theory of custody negotiations

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Beverly Webster Ferreiro (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Rebecca M. Smith

Abstract: This exploratory study contributes to the development of a theory of custody negotiations by identifying the context factors influencing parental conflict and bargaining strategies in the custody decision—making process and the links between the bargaining process and subsequent parental conflict outcome. In-depth interviews with 26 divorced parents (11 couples and 4 individual respondents) were conducted and 15 case studies were developed for cross—case analyses. The cases were analyzed according to the level of conflict (low, moderate or high) parents experienced during their initial negotiations. Conflict was assessed holistically, using the dimensions of substantive conflict, bargaining style, emotional tone and the timeframe of negotiations. Five context factors affecting the negotiation process were identified: parenting context, marital context, divorce context, legal context and financial context. The marital, divorce and legal contexts exerted most influence on parents' bargaining styles and their overall level of conflict.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1988
Custody of children
Divorce settlements
Divorce suits

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