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Stopping parental alienation before it causes long-term harm

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2020 | Family Law

Like most parents in Arkansas, you treasure your relationship with your son or daughter. A good parent-child relationship is equally vital for the emotional development of the young one in your family. As such, if you are co-parenting in a post-divorce family, you do not want your ex-spouse to sabotage the rewarding relationship you have with your child.

Parental alienation is a serious matter that can cause long-term harm to a child. This type of behavior occurs when one parent uses mental manipulation to distance a child from the other parent. Here are some ways you can stop parental alienation before it destroys your parent-child relationship:

Create a custody journal

If you suspect your ex-spouse is trying to turn your kids against you, you likely must act quickly to curtail the behavior. Still, you want to know whether the alienation only involves a few isolated actions or is a widespread problem. Creating a custody journal is a good way to help you distinguish. When you see alarming behaviors, make a note in your journal. Then, supplement the journal with evidence, such as text messages or emails.

Request mediation

Not every parent who engages in parental alienation is trying to cause harm. On the contrary, your former partner’s behavior may be unintentional or inadvertent. If you are on good terms with your child’s co-parent, a simple conversation may be effective. Otherwise, you may need to speak to an experienced family law attorney.  Your attorney may be able to amicably resolve the matter through simple settlement negotiations or Court-ordered mediation.

Take legal action 

Parental alienation is not any child’s interests. This, of course, is the legal standard by which judges in Arkansas make custody and visitation orders. Accordingly, if your ex-husband or -wife is alienating your child, you may need to seek judicial intervention. Pursuing a modification of existing court orders may be necessary to protect your parent-child relationship.

While you may be willing to make sacrifices to make your post-divorce family successful, you simply cannot put up with parental alienation. After all, this type of behavior can harm both you and your child. By understanding your options, you can better plan for keeping your parent-child relationship on a solid foundation.