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What is Parental Alienation?

The battle for child custody can sometimes get a little nasty, especially when there is a lot of bad blood between divorcing spouses. However, it is generally believed that the involvement of both parents is in the best interest of a child. This does not mean that a vindictive parent will not try to alienate the other in an attempt to “win” the affections of their child. If you suspect that your former spouse is trying to alienate you from your children, you should hire a skilled child custody attorney and bring this issue to the attention of the court.

Here are some of the most telltale signs of signs of parental alienation:

  • Your child appears to have formed an alliance with your former spouse: Divorce is not an easy experience for children to endure and, as a result, many often naturally feel angry. If your child’s anger seems especially aimed at you, however, this could be a strong indication that your co-parent is aggravating your child’s feelings of anger and trying to foster hostility toward you. If you notice your child acting out against you or refusing to visit you, consider this a red flag for parental alienation.
  • Your child knows a lot about your divorce: There is absolutely no reason why your child should know all of the nasty details about your divorce or why it happened. In fact, for kids well under the age of 18, it is not even appropriate for them to be privy to this kind of information. If your child hints at knowledge of infidelity, financial irresponsibility, or some other issue that might have led to your divorce, you can bet that your ex-spouse is oversharing as a means to alienate you.
  • Your former spouse is not communicating with you: Communication is a key element in an effective co-parenting relationship, so if your former spouse is not telling you everything you need to know about your child, such as a medical appointment, problems at school, or an upcoming event, this is a big problem that needs to be addressed.
  • Your child is being used to spy on you: Kids should not be used as pawns at any time and they certainly should not be used to spy on either parent. If you are aware that your ex-spouse is curious about certain aspects of your life, he or she might be asking your child to gather information to use against you in court.
  • Your authority as a parent is being undermined: Even parents who are not divorced are bound to have some disagreements regarding the upbringing of their children, but there should be a certain level of consistency between both households regarding basic rules. If you notice your child frequently makes comments about what your former spouse permits them to do, such as how late they can stay up or how much candy they are allowed to consume, this is a sign that your co-parent is undermining your authority. It is also a form of parental alienation.

If you notice any of the aforementioned signs, maintain a journal documenting these incidents, including specific dates. You should also try to correspond with your former spouse in writing, whether it be through emails or texts, so you have material evidence for your attorney to use in court to back up your allegations.

Seek the Compassionate and Knowledgeable Assistance of a Newton Family Law Attorney!

If you are in the midst of a child custody dispute, you should not attempt to field this complex situation on your own. The Halks Law Firm in Newton can provide exceptional legal representation and advice that is backed by years of experience and in-depth knowledge of the law.

Do not hesitate to obtain the help you need. Call The Halks Law Firm today at (781) 995-0107 to schedule a complimentary case review with one of our esteemed family law attorneys.