What You Can Do About Parental Alienation
Parental Alienation Definition
After divorce a parent may manipulate a child to fear, disrespect or show hostility towards the other parent. However, a child can develop these feelings without being manipulated in any way. Manipulating a child to dislike the other parent or denying the other parent access to the child is what leads to parental alienation.
Parental alienation is simply the deterioration of the relationship between a child and a parent. This can sometimes happen when you are divorcing with children.
It often happens after divorce but there are many cases where this occurs when parents are still together. In fact, the alienation starts when parents are still together and then gets worse after divorce. As a result, more than 740,000 children and teenagers in the US are victims of parental alienation according to a recent study.
Effects Of Parental Alienation On Children
Children may start displaying delinquent behavior such as fighting in school, shoplifting, sabotaging and destroying property and so on. Not all behavior a child develops will be this extreme. Sometimes the child may get depressed, start failing in school or develop eating disorders. Children need the love and care from their parents to develop into healthy and successful adults. That is why in child custody cases, the judge’s order is always made in the best interests of the child.
See also…Houston CPS Attorneys.
Solution For Parental Alienation
If this happens to you, then your first step might be to consult with a Texas divorce lawyer. In a divorce situation, shared parenting should be the nom of parenting plans for children of all ages according to a study published in the Journal of the American Psychological Association. No parent should be allowed to denigrate the other parent and prevent that parent from accessing their child. This is about the child’s well being not grudge one parent holds against the other after divorce.
The mental health of children ages three to five with shared parenting is better on average compared to those that are cared for by a single parent, according to study published on the Swedish Journal Acta Paediatrica. Each parent should have as much access to the child as possible especially when they are infants and toddlers. It has been found that fathers that were not in the lives of their children when they were toddlers or infants do not have as close a bond as those who did.
See also…how to get sole child custody after a divorce.
How Courts Handle Parental Alienation
Parental Alienation Laws
The laws against parental alienation are clear.
Most courts are now starting to acknowledge that parental alienation is becoming a major problem. Courts can find the alienating parent in contempt of court and impose sanctions against them. Another way the government can take action against such parents is by changing the legal and physical custody of the child. However, there are situations where the court may try to reunify a parent and a child by mandating that they undergo reunification therapy.
Steps To Take If You Are An Alienation Victim
You will need to record in a journal every time the custodial parent denies you physical access to your child. This record may come in handy if you decide to take legal action against that parent. Another way to shield you legally is to ask to see the child in writing or via email or text messages. What this will do is make it difficult for the other parent to make excuses about denying you access to your child. Never give up asking to see your child because one day your child will know you were not at fault in the alienation.