Parental Alienation is a practice of a pattern of behaviors by one parent that causes a negative impact on the relationship the child has with the other parent. As a result of parental alienation, a child will often have a positive relationship with one parent where the other parent is mostly excluded. Such behaviors by one parent are ultimately damaging to a child’s overall emotional well-being and often lead to long term problems for the child and sometimes an unrepairable relationship with one parent. Parental alienation is destructive to everyone in the family even the one engaging in such behavior.
Examples of Parental Alienation behaviors are:
- When a parent demeans the other parent in the child’s presence, criticizing the other parent or their friends or their family
- A parent tells the child that the other parent is to blame for the divorce or breaking up the family
- Discussing any aspect of child support in front of the child or directly with the child, the amount, the payment history of the other parent, the speaking parent’s distain of having to pay child support
- Preventing the child from speaking with the other parent by blocking phone messages, not returning phone calls or not delivering email messages, letters or gifts. Preventing the child’s access to their cell phone or computers to allow communication with the other parent.
- Eavesdropping on the child’s communication with the other parent, whether it is over the phone, email, Skype, or in person.
- Interrupting the child’s time with the other parent by calling, texting, or emailing constantly or even dropping in physically at a public place they know the child is at with the other parent.
- When a parent uses a child to spy or gather information from the other parent
- When a parent asks the child about the other parent’s personal life
- Refusing to allow a child to bring their personal possessions back and forth between residences
- Not allowing the other parent access to the child’s school, medical records or extracurricular activity schedules
- Being inflexible regarding the visitation schedule, including scheduling the child in so many activities, that the other parent’s visitation is diminished
- Purposely moving away from where the other parent lives in order to cause difficulty and expense for the other parent to visit
- False allegations of physical, sexual or emotional abuse toward the other parent
- Allowing the child to decide whether to visit the other parent, when they don’t actually have a choice
- Acting hurt or sad when the child spends time with the other parent
- Asking the child to choose one parent over the other
To help ensure your child’s stress over the divorce is lessened as much as possible, it’s important to not engage in these types of behaviors of parental alienation. If your ex-spouse chooses to engage in such behaviors, your best option is to keep telling your children you love them and continue to try to build a closer relationship with them. You can attend their functions, take an interest in things they do, make sure you remember their birthdays and holidays and include them in your extended family activities. Remind them that it’s okay to love both parents, and it’s not disloyal to either one of you to have a good relationship with each parent.
If your ex-spouse continues to engage in unhealthy behavior that alienates your children from you, and you are unable to successfully discuss things with the other parent to stop these destructive behaviors, contact Fellows & Quenzer LLC, for help. Steps can be taken to stop these destructive actions or lessen the abusive parent’s opportunities to engage in such behaviors of parental alienation.
With our knowledge, experience, and care in practicing family law, Fellows & Quenzer LLC can help ensure your child’s best interests are protected during your divorce and after your divorce. We can help you with the problem of parental alienation.
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