Far too often, children end up in the middle of ugly custody and visitation disputes, with each parent thinking that they know what is best for their child. While these child custody and visitation disputes can be resolved amicably in many instances, sometimes they can’t. And in some instances, parents weaponize their children as a way to retain control and cut the other parent out of their child’s life. How do parents do this? Through the process of parental alienation.
What is parental alienation?
Parental alienation occurs when a child is manipulated with the purpose of distancing the child from his or her other parent. Some people refer to this process as programming or even brainwashing. In many instances, children are led to believe things about their other parent that is false, thereby warping their perception of that parent. The alienating parent oftentimes then uses this evidence to try to obtain a court order that further restricts that parent’s access to his or her child.
How does alienation occur?
There are a number of ways. Alienation can be as simple as scheduling fun activities for a child at a time when the child is supposed to have visitation with the other parent, thereby breeding resentment in the child when he or she has to forego the activity to visit with the other parent. In other instances, parents feed lies to their children, such as by telling them that the other parent doesn’t love them or doesn’t call, when in fact the opposite is true. There are even extreme cases out there where a parent will manipulate a child to the point that he or she ends up falsely believing that he or she has been abused by the other parent.
Put parental alienation to a stop
If you think that you and your child are being subjected to parental alienation, then you need to consider taking legal action. Before you do, though, you need to have evidence to support your position. Therefore, be on the lookout for telltale signs of alienation, such as unwarranted and unrelenting criticism from your child, your child’s use of adult-like language, and your child’s unwavering support for his or her other parent. Don’t overlook statements made by the other parent, either, as well as his or her behavior.
If you need help addressing parental alienation, then please consider working with an experienced law firm that can help you develop the strong legal arguments that you need to protect your child and your relationship with him or her.