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What is parental alienation and what can I do about it?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2021 | Family Law |

As a noncustodial parent, you have the right to visit your kids and spend quality time with them. But what happens when they suddenly change their behavior towards you and refuse to see you? If this is your case, you may be a victim of parental alienation, something that, unfortunately, many divorced parents suffer from. Parental alienation is considered abusive behavior, so you may ask the court to modify your child’s custody order if you are a victim.

Parental alienation

Parental alienation is a mental condition in which a child strongly allies with one parent and rejects the other. This change in their behavior is not random, and it is usually caused because one parent constantly brainwashes their child into thinking that the other parent is evil, dangerous and unworthy of their love. When this happens, the child refuses to spend time with the targeted parent, including time on the phone or through other forms of communication.

The difference with estrangement

You must know that not all cases in which a child refuses to see the other parent are parental alienation cases. If a child refuses to see the parent for a good reason, it is not alienation but estrangement. A good reason to avoid the other parent could be if they abused or neglected the child in the past. However, if the child does not have a legitimate justification, the other parent may be a victim of parental alienation.

Changing the order

If you suspect that your ex is damaging your reputation in the eyes of your kid, you have the right to ask the court to modify your child’s custody order. The court can change a custody order if they believe that the child’s present environment damages their physical, mental, emotional and moral health. Parental alienation is detrimental to both the targeted parent and the kid, which is why it is reason enough for the court to change the order. After all, no child should lose the special bond they have with one parent just because the other feels resentful towards them.

Fighting back

If the court finds that your ex is guilty of negatively influencing your kids, they can change the custody order. Proving alienation is sometimes difficult, which is why it would be in your best interest to seek legal representation in court. You should also keep records of all the attempts you have made to reach out to your children. That way, you can stop your ex from using your kids as a weapon against you.