No matter how often you and your ex may have argued before you finally decided to file for a divorce, you must still work out an agreement regarding child-related issues in order to achieve a settlement. As a parent, you not only have duties and responsibilities to fulfill as you and your kids move on in life, you also have rights regarding child custody issues that are protected under the law.
If your ex is trying to turn your children against you or is refusing to cooperate with you to work out a co-parenting agreement, you might have a parental alienation problem on your hands. In many cases, a family court judge will hold a parent in contempt for intentionally impeding a parent/child relationship after divorce or for disregarding a court order.
Signs of parental alienation
If a parent tries to turn his or her children against their other parent, it can cause confusion and severe emotional and mental stress, which can lead to physical ailments in kids as well. Any of the issues included in the following list would be cause for concern if you suspect that your ex is attempting a parental alienation scheme:
- Your child seems angry or afraid of you
- He or she refuses to speak to you even if you have a scheduled visit
- Your child repeats things that aren’t true about the reasons for your divorce
- He or she runs away or tries to hide when you’re supposed to be visiting
- Your child is telling lies about you to other people
- He or she accuses you of not loving him or her or says you blame him or her for your divorce
The ages of your children, as well as what type of relationship you normally had with them before your divorce, may affect your ability to help them recover from a parental alienation attempt.
Parental alienation can leave long-term emotional scars
Children who have been lied to, exploited and manipulated by a parent in order to turn them against the other parent may take a long time to heal once they’ve learned the truth. Parental alienation can cause kids to develop trust issues so that they not only mistrust the parent from whom they were alienated but also mistrust other adults in their life, such as teachers, babysitters, ministers, counselors, etc.
Parents must adhere to an existing court order
If the court has ordered visitation, child support, etc., in conjunction with your divorce, both you and your ex are obligated to adhere to the terms of agreement. This means that, if your ex is attempting a parental alienation scheme, you can bring it to the court’s immediate attention, especially if he or she is not transferring custody when scheduled or is denying your children access to you.