Whether you were once married and are now divorced or never had a committed relationship, you and the other parent of your children have to cooperate.
Some parents have a difficult time putting their own emotional responses to a failed relationship aside to focus on the children. Rather than trying to make decisions that would be good for the kids, they use the children like a weapon to hurt the other parent.
The sad truth is that some parents will try to interfere in the relationship their children have with their ex. They may manipulate and control their children so that the kids feel like they must pull away from the other parent. This kind of behavior, called parental alienation, can cause lasting damage to the children in the family.
What are the signs of parental alienation?
Parental alienation or one parent intentionally interfering in the relationship the other has with the children can involve multiple different behaviors. Sometimes, it involves a parent creating imagined complaints against their ex and sharing those issues with the children. If your kids seem to fabricate concerns about your behavior, that might be a warning sign that your ex has manipulated their perception of you.
On the other hand, sometimes too much honesty can be a form of parental alienation. If your ex shares information with your children that they would not otherwise know and that damages their relationship with you, that could be parental alienation too. An example would be someone bitterly complaining about canceled parenting time or sharing the sordid details of an extramarital affair with grade school children.
Sometimes, parental alienation looks like the parent just canceling parenting time or denying their ex access to the children. If your ex won’t connect your calls to the kids, blocks you on their social media and turns you away at the door, their actions are likely a reflection of their desire to sever your bond with the children.
The courts do not like one parent interfering in the relationships of the other
Parental alienation has played a major role in multiple high-profile custody cases. The courts want to see both parents working together and keeping the focus on the kids.
When one parent has evidence that the other has attempted to alienate them from the children, that behavior could significantly influence how the courts divide parental responsibilities. It might also result in a modification limiting the parenting time or authority of the adult engaged in intentional parental alienation.
Identifying signs of attempted parental alienation can help you advocate for yourself and a contentious shared custody arrangement.