After a divorce or a child custody case, parents must abide by a court-ordered child custody schedule. While this is never an easy situation, it can be even more difficult when you fear your co-parent is trying to alienate you from your children or you are being accused of alienating your co-parent from your children.
Read on to learn about parental alienation, how to recognize parental alienation in your parent-child relationship, and stopping parental alienation if it is happening to you.
What is Parental Alienation?
Parental alienation is when one parent attempts to distance a child from the other parent. This can be through discrediting the other parent, making false accusations about the other parent, or distorting the child’s view of the other parent in any way. Parental alienation can be mild or severe.
Signs Parental Alienation is Taking Place
Parental alienation can take many forms. Seven signs to look for in an alienator are as follows:
- Divulging unnecessary adult relationship details, like affairs, to a child;
- Preventing a child from seeing or talking to the other parent, and blaming that parent’s disinterest in the child for missed visitation;
- Insisting all of a child’s items be kept at the alienator’s house, regardless of how much time a child spends with the other parent;
- Planning a child’s favorite activities during the other parent’s custody;
- Refusing to follow custody guidelines or compromise on any custody arrangements;
- Keeping all medical records, report cards, and information about a child’s friends to themselves; and
- Probing a child for gossip about the other parent’s personal life and relationships and sharing gossip with a child about the other parent’s life.
Effects of Parental Alienation on Children
Research has shown that parental alienation can negatively impact children. Children who are alienated from one parent may:
- Experience increased anger;
- Have heightened feelings of neglect;
- Be neglected as a result of their parents’ fighting;
- Learn destructive behavior patterns that they pass on to others;
- Assume a skewed view of reality and be prone to lying about others;
- Become combative with others due to learning an “us vs. them” mentality;
- Have a “black and white” outlook or mentality; and
- Lack empathy for others.
What to Do If You are Being Alienated?
If the other parent is alienating you, speak with the other parent about any behavior that you have noticed. Document any instances of alienation you observe. Consider enrolling your child in therapy, yourself in parenting classes, and seeking help from the court.
What to Do If You are Accused of Parental Alienation?
If you are accused of parental alienation, talk to the other parent about situations that are making them uncomfortable. Try to speak and behave more positively about the other parent in the presence of your child.
Contact an Experienced California Child Custody Attorney
If you are concerned about parental alienation and its effect on you and your child, contact the attorneys at Moradi Saslaw. We will listen to your story and advise you whether a child custody modification is appropriate in your situation.
Our child custody professionals look forward to meeting with you today.