When a marriage or romantic relationship that involves a child comes to an end, the couple (through the court) will work out a parenting plan that serves the best interest of the child. Thus, unless ruled otherwise by the court, every parent deserves to build and maintain a relationship with their child.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for one parent to attempt to interfere with the child’s relationship with the other parent. This behavior is known as parental alienation, and it is illegal. If the other parent is turning your child against you, it is important that you take appropriate steps to stop the vice.
Common signs of parental alienation
Parental alienation hurts both the alienated parent as well as the child in question. If you believe your ex is alienating you from your child, it is important that you look out for these red flags:
- If the child is suddenly siding with the other parent
- If the child seems to know a lot about your divorce
- If the child is openly undermining your authority
Here are two things you need to do once you spot the signs of alienation.
Create a journal
This may not seem necessary or important. However, documenting incidents of alienation can help you build a strong case should the matter go to court. For instance, if the child confesses that the other parent told them something negative about you, be sure to write down these claims in your journal. Additionally, keep a record of any threatening or demeaning emails or texts.
Assert your rights
Most often, the alienating parent will employ underhand techniques to gain control of the child. If these include withholding visitation, then you need to assert your parenting rights by obtaining an enforcement order or petitioning for custody modification. Keep in mind that parental alienation hurts the child too.
Parental alienation can have a lasting impact on everyone involved. Find out how you can safeguard your rights and interests if your ex is turning your child against you.