Parental alienation refers to when a parent manipulates their child in an attempt to turn the child against the other parent. Read on to learn more.
What Does Parental Alienation Look Like?
If your child is a victim of parental alienation, he or she may begin to act differently. It is important to look for the signs. For example, your child may begin to act distant, aggressive, or upset in your presence as a result of your ex’s manipulation.
Additionally, parental alienation may entail the alienating parent making subtle remarks about the other parent, outright badmouthing the other parent, and more extreme forms of manipulation, including pretending to “save” the child from situations involving the other parent.
What Effects can Parental Alienation Have?
Parental alienation can drastically affect a child’s relationship with both parents. While it may distance the child from the alienated parent, the child may eventually learn not to trust the alienating parent, impacting the child’s relationship with both parents. Additionally, parental alienation can have severe psychological effects on the child. For example, children who are victims of parental alienation may suffer from depression, substance abuse, and more.
What Can be Done About Parental Alienation?
If you believe you and your child are victims of parental alienation, it is important to collect evidence. This can be done by:
- Document disparaging remarks: If your ex-spouse sends an angry text or leaves you a resentful voicemail, you should document these incidents.
- Record incidents: If your child quotes something their other parent has said, you may want to keep a record of this quote in a journal. You may also want to note changes in your child’s behavior.
- Preserve social media evidence: If your ex is making disparaging remarks about you on social media, you should not engage and be sure to take screenshots.
If you and your family law attorney can prove to a court that parental alienation is occurring, the judge may alter your child custody schedule as parental alienation violates the core of your custody agreement, which is to do what is your child’s best interests.
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