Children are oftentimes stuck in the middle of a divorce. This can be hard for them. After all, they are often faced with the reality that their time with one of their parents will be limited going forward and the stability that they thought they once had no longer exists. But aggressive custodial parents who seek to cut off their child’s noncustodial parent can cause even greater harm to their children. In the process, they can also ruin their child’s relationship with their noncustodial parent. If you think that this is happening to you and your child, then it’s imperative that you read on.
Are you be subjected to parental alienation?
Parental alienation is the process by which one parent manipulates a child in order to distance that child from his or her other parent. Some people refer to this process as programming or brainwashing.
Parental alienation can take many forms. In some instances, a parent simply feeds their child false information about the other parent, such as that the other parent doesn’t care and doesn’t love the child. Sometimes these parents share intimate details of the marriage with the child in hopes of breaking the bond between the child and the other parent. For example, a child may be reminded that their other parent is a liar or that he or she is a cheater due to infidelity during a marriage.
But parental alienation can be even more severe than that. In the worst cases, children are falsely led to believe that they have been abused or neglected by their other parent. The manipulating parent then uses statements made by the child to try to leverage a child custody and visitation order that limits or entirely cuts off the other parent’s access to the child.
Signs of parental alienation
If you look closely, you might be able to spot signs of parental alienation. Perhaps the most common sign is unwarranted and unrelenting criticism. Your child might constantly attack you for things that aren’t true, and he or she may even use language that mirrors that used by an adult rather than a child. If your child is being manipulated, then he or she will probably also show unwavering support for the alienating parent. Your child’s disdain for you may even extend to members of your family, again, without any justification.
What can you do about parental alienation?
If you feel like you’re being distanced from your child due to the other parent’s actions, then it can be hard to see a way to rebuild your relationship with your child. But there are steps that you can take to protect that relationship and shield your child’s wellbeing. You can document every instance where you believe that your child is being manipulated or exhibiting signs of manipulation, but your strongest evidence is probably going to come from a mental health professional. You might be able to request that your child participate in some sort of therapy or an assessment, and the same may even be said for the parents involved. In other words, there’s a decent chance that you’re going to need expert testimony on your side.
Secure the legal help that you and your child need
The good news is that courts are becoming much more receptive to arguments pertaining to parental alienation. That means that there’s hope that you can put egregious behavior to an end and ensure that you can have the relationship with your child that you and your child deserve. You might even be able to use evidence of alienation to seek a custody modification.
These matters are highly complex, though, which is why it might be best to work closely with a legal professional that is skilled in family law. If you’d like to learn more about our firm and what we have to offer in that regard, then please continue to browse our website.