If you are divorced with children, then it is normal for you to want to maintain your bond with them. Separation and divorce commonly cause rifts and disruptions in the family. Children who struggle with the breakup might act out of character, rejecting or becoming hostile towards one or both parents. The other parent might fuel this mentality towards the rejected parent. These are signs of parental alienation. Here is more on what this means and what you could do to protect yourself from your ex’s vengeful actions.
What Is Parental Alienation?
Separation or divorce often causes children to go through minor turbulence. However, in more concerning cases, children will stop interacting with one parent willfully and for various reasons. These children might reject one parent or resent them. They might be reluctant to spend time with that parent, creating alienation.
Some extreme situations call for one parent to alienate the children from the other parent. For example, one of the parents could have been abusive or neglectful. In other situations, children might have had a good relationship with the parent but took on the favored parent’s demeanor or view of the rejected parent. Critically, a child’s treatment of the rejected parent might be inconsistent with the parent’s treatment of that child.
There are a few different ways in which you can tell if your children are alienated from you. First, children might take up insignificant or illegitimate views which reflect the favored parent’s view of the rejected parent. A favored parent could bring on these types of situations to distance the children from the rejected parent.
Second, there could be a lack of appreciation or affection by children towards one of the parents. They might express no guilt, love, or remorse towards their treatment of the rejected parent. Also, children might be defiant or disobedient with the rejected parent. A child with a behavioral problem might show hostility and an extreme unwillingness to see the rejected parent.
Legal Concerns Brought on By Your Children’s Alienation from You
If your ex and you are parties to a custody agreement or parenting plan, you might want to see your children per the agreement. However, if your alienated children cease communicating with you, then it makes sense to dig deeper and determine the root cause so that you know how to proceed.
It could be that your children have Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) caused by the other parent’s actions towards you. Here, your children are identifying and adopting the other parent’s negative view towards you. The question becomes whether the other parent is doing this intentionally to basically program your children to have a certain disposition towards you. Critically, your alienated or estranged children’s disposition might be irrational. You might have done nothing wrong.
The other parent might have an agenda against you. They may encourage their children’s alienation in hopes of reducing or impairing your rights to see your children. The other parent might unreasonably believe that they are the better parent or that your children do not need you. Yet, the other parent might actually be unfit to care for your children and may place them in a dangerous environment.
Moreover, the other parent might aim through the court to make changes to a parenting plan or custody agreement supported by your children’s negative view towards you. Specifically, your alienated, brainwashed, and manipulated children might testify against you in a custody proceeding. Bottom line: your rights as a rejected parent could be threatened if the other parent looks to capitalize on your children’s alienation and potentially irrational disposition towards you.
If you feel as though your children are being led by the other parent to believe all these terrible things about you as part of a process of taking your children away from you, then you should begin documenting or evidencing this as soon as possible. It will also be important for you to speak with any professionals who might be in contact with your children so that you can explain your situation and gain support. There are trained professionals who can help you reunite with your alienated children.
Finally, it is important to retain an experienced family law attorney who can help you seek relief from the court for parental alienation. Backed by more than 40 years of experience, Naidu Law is a top family law firm who has meaningfully helped clients from all walks of life on parental alienation, child custody, child support, divorce and more. Naidu Law strives to obtain the best results for its clients and to provide quality services at a reasonable cost. Consult with the knowledgeable family law attorneys at Naidu Law by calling (405) 792-2400 or by contacting us online.