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Parental alienation is a big child custody problem

by | Jun 24, 2022 | Child Custody

Perhaps you can relate to many other parents in Washington who were concerned about their children’s well-being when they filed for divorce. If you and your spouse have determined that you want to move on in life without each other, it doesn’t mean that either one of you are trying to negate your parental responsibilities. You don’t have to maintain your prior relationship with each other, but you do have to interact and correspond in child custody matters that are relevant to your children.

If your ex is angry at you about the divorce, he or she might not be willing to cooperate or compromise to devise a fair co-parenting agreement. The important thing to remember is that, once the court finalizes your child custody order, you and your ex are both obligated to adhere to its terms. So, if your ex is disregarding the order or is trying to impede your relationship with your kids through parental alienation, you can take steps to rectify the problem.

What does a parental alienation scheme look like in action?

If you suspect that your ex has set out to turn your children against you, you might notice signs of a parental alienation scheme. The following list includes factors and information regarding this condition:

  • Many psychiatrists believe it is an emotional disorder.
  • Children who previously maintained active relationships with a parent will suddenly turn against him or her for no legitimate reason.
  • The parent working to turn kids away from the other parent may tell the children lies, including, perhaps that their other parent doesn’t love them or blames them for the divorce.
  • A parent might deny children access to their other parent, particularly via cell phones, email, virtual chats, etc.
  • A parent might tell kids the other parent didn’t want to see them on a day when a visit was scheduled but the other parent had a valid reason for postponing.
  • The parent might also lie to the court, accusing the other parent of being unfit, just to keep him or her away from the kids.

Unless a Washington family court judge has barred you from seeing your children, your ex does not have a right to keep them from you. You can ask the court to intervene to enforce your child custody order.

Children who are victims of parental alienation are often emotionally scarred

If your ex succeeds in turning your kids against you, it might take a long time to restore your relationship. Sadly, in some cases, even after the children in question become adults, they never re-engage with their alienated parent. Don’t lose hope if you’re in a similar situation. There are many resources available to help parents and children who have been victimized in this way.

As long as you understand your parental rights and know where to seek support to help protect them, you can be hopeful that your relationship with your children will be restored.