As a parent, one of your most important goals after a divorce is to make sure that your kids have continuity of lifestyle and as much stability as possible during this time. One way that many parents are able to do this is by negotiating the terms of a child custody order that allow the kids to have regular access to both of them. This is important for their emotional health and mental well-being.
However, not all parents are cooperative after divorce, and sometimes they do things to undermine the role of the other parent. Whether it is by refusing to abide by the terms of a parenting agreement or subtly attempting to damage your child’s perception of you, it can be deeply damaging to your role as an active and loving parent. This is parental alienation, and knowing the warning signs can help you recognize a problem and take action quickly.
Recognizing parental alienation
Parents who resort to alienation are often narcissistic and selfish. They are unwilling to recognize that harming the relationship that the child has with the other parent is ultimately most damaging to the kid. This is often an attempt to get revenge on the other parent or an act on frustrations that are lingering after a divorce. It may help to consider the following facts about alienation:
- Alienation can include one parent making degrading or disparaging comments about the other to or in front of the kids. He or she may also make false accusations against the other parent.
- Sometimes alienation includes keeping the child from seeing the other parent. This may mean refusing to return the child from visitation or keeping the other parent from attending important events in the life of the child.
- Over time, these acts eventually create a change in the child’s mind about the other parent, and it creates an estrangement that may be difficult to reverse.
If you are experiencing what you think is parental alienation, there are steps you can take to preserve your interests and your parental rights. First, you may find it helpful to speak with an experienced Colorado attorney regarding your legal options. It may be necessary to petition a court to intervene and compel the other parent to abide by the terms of the custody order. There may also be other remedies available to you as well.