Has your relationship with your children suddenly become strained? Do you believe your former spouse is deliberately turning your children against you? If so, you may be the target of parental alienation and should seek legal representation to protect your parental rights. While it’s true that emotions run high in divorce and custody matters, no parent has the right to unjustly and intentionally sabotage a child’s relationship with the other parent.
What is Parental Alienation?
In an ideal custody arrangement, both parents are committed to acting in the best interests of their children and share in the responsibilities and decision-making of child-rearing. Regardless of how they may feel about one another, they never interfere with their child’s relationship with the other parent. Unfortunately, family dynamics are not always this amicable.
Parental alienation occurs when one parent engages in behavior that serves to undermine or alienate a child from the other parent. Through persistent and relentless brainwashing, the child develops hostile feelings toward the targeted parent. Over time, the child may even align with the alienating parent and actively contribute to destroying their relationship with the other parent.
Parental Alienating Behaviors
A parent can consciously or unconsciously create conflict and distance between a child and the other parent. Alienation tactics or behaviors may include:
Reasons Why Parental Alienation Takes Place
A parent’s motivation for severing the bond between a child and the other parent can vary. Many times, a parent will use the child as a pawn to obtain a more favorable divorce or custody settlement. Other times, it’s more personal and may stem from unresolved anger or bitterness toward the other parent for perceived wrongs during the marriage. If the parent suffers from a personality disorder like narcissism or paranoia, it can make them unable to empathize with their child’s feelings or recognize the harm they’re causing to the child.
Warning Signs From Alienated Children
Parental alienation not only has a devastating affect on the targeted parent but can have a detrimental long-term impact on the children as well. Kids caught in the crosshairs of parental alienation are more likely to develop depression, anxiety or eating disorders, perform poorly in school, struggle with self-esteem issues and have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships.
Here are some of the early warning signs that your child may be
Fighting Against Parental Alienation in Court
Parental alienation can be considered a form of child abuse and should not be taken lightly. Irreparable damage could be done to your child and your relationship if you fail to take prompt legal action.
To prove parental alienation is taking place, a family law attorney may be able to: