Divorce is hard, especially for couples with children. Unfortunately, some Washington residents will use their kids to hurt their former spouses. Parental alienation is one way they do this. If you believe you are a victim of parental alienation, you have options. The sooner you take action, the better things may turn out for you and for your kids.
What is parental alienation?
Parental alienation occurs when one parent purposely and actively works to discredit the other parent. The goal is usually to make the child not want a relationship with the alienated parent or to make the child feel that the other parent does not want a relationship with them. There are several ways a vindictive parent may do this, such as:
- Telling a child their mom or dad is a bad person
- Telling a child their mom or dad does not want to see them
- Telling a child their mom or dad does not love them anymore
- Preventing a child from contacting their other parent
How it affects children
Unfortunately, the alienated parent is not the only one who gets hurt when this type of behavior occurs. Children are also victims, and the effects of alienation can be extremely damaging on them. Children may:
- Be overly angry
- Have feelings of neglect
- Demonstrate lack of empathy
- Be physically and/or verbally abusive
If parental alienation is an issue in your divorce, you may be able to stop it by taking the matter to court. With the assistance of legal counsel, you can seek a custody modification and find justice for you and your child’s unfair treatment.
Washington residents who do end up achieving more time with their children through custody adjustments may then want to consider seeking professional counseling to help rebuild their relationship with their children.