The term parental alienation is used to describe the systematic attempts of a parent to destroy the parent-child relationship between the other parent and the couple’s children. Sadly, parental alienation is often utilized as a tactic in custody proceedings, which can have devastating consequences for the emotional health of the children involved. If you are going through a divorce and have concerns that your child is the victim of parental alienation, you should speak with an experienced family law attorney who can help ensure that your child’s interests are protected.
It can be difficult to prove that one parent is purposely attempting to alienate a child from the other parent, especially during divorces, as children are especially emotional. However, there are some common signs that are good indicators that parental alienation may be occurring, including when:
- A child has detailed knowledge of privileged divorce-related issues that could only have been revealed by the other parent;
- One parent regularly attempts to schedule events that will tempt a child to skip a visit with the other parent;
- One parent refuses to tell the other parent of the child’s recreational activities;
- One parent refuses to allow the child to bring his or her possessions to the other parent’s house;
- The child shows a sudden and uncharacteristic negative change in behavior towards one parent;
- One parent insists on reading texts and emails exchanged between a child and his or her other parent;
- One parent routinely listens in on the child’s conversations with the other parent;
- One parent gives the child a choice on visitation, against a court’s orders; and
- One parent blames the other parent for the divorce, lifestyle changes, or financial problems on numerous occasions and in the presence of the child.
When courts suspect that one parent is purposely attempting to alienate a child from the other parent, it may ask parenting facilitators or a psychologist to meet with all of the parties individually to discover the source of the problem. Eventually, the court may even change an existing custody arrangement. This is especially likely if the investigation reveals that either a parent or the child has been the victim of domestic violence, as parental alienation and abuse often go hand in hand.
Call Today to Schedule a Meeting With an Experienced Michigan Family Law Attorney
Parental alienation poses a serious threat to the health and longevity of the parent-child relationship, so if you believe that your child is being manipulated by his or her other parent, please contact us today at Iafrate & Salassa by calling (586) 263-1600. We’ll help you schedule a one-on-one consultation with a dedicated member of our legal team who can evaluate your case and explain your legal options. You can also set up an appointment by sending us an email with your contact information and a brief description of your case. A member of our team is standing by and eager to address your divorce-related questions or concerns.