Even though you and your ex-spouse decided to end your marriage, you chose to set up a co-parenting arrangement. With this arrangement, you have your kids during your scheduled parenting time, and your ex-spouse does the same. What happens when you are not around, though, may be damaging your parent-child relationship.
Parental alienation happens when one parent tries to turn the kids against the other. If your ex-spouse is engaging in this type of behavior, your children may fear, distrust or even despise you. To salvage your parent-child relationship and assert your legal rights, you may need to act quickly.
Signs of parental alienation
There is no such thing as garden-variety parental alienation. Instead, this type of psychological child abuse may take many different forms. Here are some possible signs your ex-spouse may be trying to alienate your kids:
- Your ex-spouse badmouths you to the kids
- Your ex-spouse shares details about your divorce or parenting style with the children
- Your ex-spouse tells the kids not to contact you
- Your ex-spouse excludes you from important parental activities, such as parent-teacher conferences
- Your ex-spouse makes your children feel guilty about wanting to spend time with you
Steps to stop parental alienation
When making custody-related orders, judges in Kentucky must consider the best interests of the children. Put simply, parental alienation is not in your kids’ best interests. Therefore, if your ex-spouse is alienating the young ones in your family, he or she may also be violating a court order.
While there are legal ways to stop parental alienation, you should not forget about the psychological well-being of your children. Ultimately, to limit the long-term effects of parental alienation, you may need to employ the services of a family counselor or child psychologist.