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What is parental alienation?

| Feb 28, 2021 | Child Custody And Visitation |

If you recently divorced and have the uncomfortable feeling that your former spouse is attempting to alienate your children from you, you may be right. Psychology Today reports that while parental alienation can begin shortly after a child’s birth if the alienating parent lives through the child, it escalates after a divorce.

Parental alienation arises when one parent seeks to have the children meet his or her psychological needs instead of the other way around. For instance, if, during your marriage, your spouse scheduled a lot of activities with the kids that excluded you, this is a classic sign of parental alienation.

Alienating behaviors

If your now former spouse is a parental alienater, he or she seeks to use the children as a weapon against you. He or she may exhibit one or more of the following behaviors:

         Badmouths you to your children

         Lies to them, telling them you do not love them as much as he or she does

         Denigrates your parenting skills

         Incessantly questions them about your lifestyle and social interactions

         Blames you for the divorce while taking no responsibility for it

         Attempts to persuade them to move in with him or her

Court help

Unfortunately, parental alienation seldom, if ever, resolves on its own and has a lasting negative effect on your children. You may wish to consider getting counseling for yourself and your children. You and your attorney may also wish to consider going back to court. Based on the parental alienation evidence you have, you could ask for sole custody of your children. You could also ask that your former spouse receive only supervised visitation with them unless and until he or she also gets counseling to help him or her stop the negative behaviors.