Child custody disputes can be contentious. After all, parents can have very different views about what sort of custody arrangement and upbringing supports their child’s best interests. While these issues can be hashed out amicably in many instances, in others there is simply too much animosity. In these cases, parents can make serious accusations against each other in an effort to swing a judge’s ruling in their favor. As stressful as this child custody matter can be for a parent, there’s another underhanded tactic that could affect your child and your custody case: parental alienation.
What is parental alienation?
Parental alienation is the process through which a parent programs a child to believe certain things in an effort to distance the child from his or her other parent. This alienation can occur in a number of ways, but is primarily achieved by feeding a child false information about the other parent so that the child comes to believe it. This false information can contain serious allegations, too, including previous domestic violence, a dislike of the child, even sexual abuse.
Another common way that alienation occurs is by scheduling activities that the child would like during a time when the child is supposed to be with the other parent. This oftentimes causes the child to resent the other parent for taking him or her away from the fun activity.
Signs of alienation
If you suspect that your child is being programed against you, then you might want to keep your eyes open for signs of alienation that you can use in your custody case. Consistent and unfair criticism without evidence to support such claims can be a symptom of alienation, and so, too, can unflappable support for the parent who is engaging in the alienating behavior. Another telltale sign of alienation is the child’s use of words and phrases that aren’t age appropriate and appear to be borrowed from someone else. Personal knowledge about false statements made to your child can be powerful in a custody case, too.
Don’t be afraid to aggressively fight for your child
Parental alienation cases are heartbreaking, but there are things that you can do to try to protect yourself and, more importantly, your child. Chief amongst them is taking legal action in the form of custody modification. To learn more about how to pursue this avenue with the best legal arguments possible, consider discussing your case with a family law attorney of your choosing.