A lot of divorces become heated, with spouses fighting over financial issues, child custody, and the division of assets. Child custody issues tend to become magnified when a divorce is contentious.
Some parents will try to use a tactic known as alienation to prevent the other parent from obtaining custody. You must be familiar with the signs of parental alienation so that you can recognize when it is occurring and seek help from your attorney immediately to put a stop to the alienation.
What is Parental Alienation?
Parental alienation is the term the legal system uses to describe the active efforts of one parent to turn a child against the other parent. This process typically occurs through psychological manipulation.
Parental alienation can negatively impact the mental health of the child caught in the middle of a custody dispute. The negative effects of parental alienation can be long-lasting and irreparable, so it's essential that you identify and address any suspected parental alienation being used by your ex-spouse during a divorce.
What are the Signs of Parental Alienation?
Since parental alienation is rooted in psychological manipulation, spotting the signs can be challenging for the parent who is being targeted.
Some acts of parental alienation may seem petty and benign at first. For example, things like refusing to let the child bring personal items to your home or violating the parenting plan, but these are indications that a parent is trying to isolate a child from their parent.
These small acts can eventually turn into more serious psychological manipulation tactics. For example, your ex-spouse may tell your child that you don't care about him or her. Your spouse may speak about you in derogatory terms in front of your child. Your spouse could even threaten to withhold approval or love from your child if the child wants to see you.
Any act that could be considered parental alienation should be addressed with your attorney.
How Does Parental Alienation Affect Custody Decisions?
When it comes to awarding custody of children in a divorce, a judge is tasked with deciding what arrangement is in the best interest of the child.
Your attorney can help you gather evidence proving that your spouse is engaged in parental alienation. This evidence can be presented in court to support your bid for custody.
A judge may bring in a child psychologist and a parenting coordinator to testify as well. If the judge agrees that parental alienation is a concern, you have a better shot at being awarded custody.
To learn more about your custody rights, contact a legal firm like Albert & Krochmal.