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Ways to stop parental alienation in a divorce

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2022 | Divorce

Starting afresh in life when you and your spouse decide to go your separate ways is a lot easier if the two of you are able to communicate and cooperate in an amicable fashion, especially if you have children. It’s unfortunate that many couples are not able to achieve a fair and peaceful settlement due to a contentious relationship between them. When you divorce, one thing you can expect is a fair agreement that keeps your children’s best interest in mind.

If your ex has nefarious ideas, such as trying to turn your children against you and alienating you from their lives, you will no doubt have your work cut out to stop the scheme and fight for your parental rights. An increasing number of people have fallen victim to parental alienation schemes in divorce in recent years.

What exactly is parental alienation in a divorce?

Imagine that your children are at their other parent’s house and want to call you on the phone or start a video chat, but your ex refuses to allow them to contact you. When you divorce, your children should never be denied access to you by their other parent. Such behavior is often part of a parental alienation scheme.

Telling your kids lies about you, perhaps even saying that you don’t love them or that you blame them for your divorce, is another way that one parent might attempt to alienate the other. Sadly, many children believe such lies and wind up saying they don’t want to go home or see the other parent anymore.

A new term was coined in the 1980s to refer to this type of problem

The term ”Parental Alienation Syndrome” was coined by a psychiatrist in the 1980s, who was witnessing an increase in cases where parents were trying to brainwash their kids against their other parents. You might suspect your ex of doing this but disregard your initial thoughts, thinking that no parent would want to children away from their other parent.

In fact, it happens often in divorce. Therefore, if you notice that your children are upset when they’re around you or they’re always angry, it is best to try to resolve the issue right away. The same holds if they make statements or outrageous claims that you believe your ex told them. Studies show that it can take months, even years, to restore a relationship between a child and a parent who has been denigrated or alienated by the other parent.

Where can you turn for support?

Even in an amicable divorce, children often need extra support to come to terms with changes in their lives. If your ex is trying to turn your kids against you, it can intensify this need. School counselors, faith ministers or psychiatrists often provide strong support to families in such circumstances.

You may also wish to connect with legal advocates in your area, especially if you feel that you will need the court’s intervention to help you enforce a child custody order or resolve a specific issue.