Child custody disputes can result in allegations of parental unfitness being thrown your way. Some of the evidence presented against you might be taken out of context, while other statements and actions might be flat out lies. The most concerning thing about this is that a judge might buy into these falsities because he or she knows nothing about your family other than the information presented to him or her. Therefore, it’s critically important that you know how to address these matters, which could mean understanding parental alienation.
What is parental alienation?
Parental alienation, sometimes called programming, is the process whereby one parent manipulates a child into disliking the other parent for false reasons. Sometimes this manipulation even leads the child to believe things that are false, such as being abused or neglected by the other parent. This distancing can have short- and long-term ramifications for the alienated parent’s relationship with his or her child.
Signs of alienation
Alienation can present itself in a variety of ways. A child might unfairly criticize the alienated parent without evidence or justification, and he or she might show unrelenting support for the parent who is doing the alienating. Additionally, a child who is being manipulated may not show any remorse at criticizing or verbally attacking the alienating parent, and the language that he or she uses may not be age appropriate.
There are other sings, too. The parent engaged in the alienation may keep the child from the other parent, for example. The alienator might also plan really fun things to do when the child is supposed to be in the other parent’s care, which can cause the child to feel resentment for being prevented from engaging in that activity.
Know how to address your child custody and visitation issues
Parental alienation can certainly have a profound impact on your relationship with your child, but it is just one of the many issues that you may face in your child custody dispute. Regardless of your circumstances, there are probably compelling arguments that you can make for your position and the protection of your child’s bests interests, but it might take some legal know-how. That’s why it might be best to discuss your child custody dispute with an experienced family law professional before proceeding with your arguments.