Divorce or separation can be hard on everyone involved, particularly when children are involved. Depending on the circumstances of the divorce, the court may grant one parent full custody of the child as the other parent is granted visitation rights.
Sometimes, a parent will resort to underhand techniques with the goal of creating a rift between a child and the other parent. This happens through parental alienation – the process by which either parent attempts to cause the child to fear, reject or avoid contact with the other parent.
Here are two steps you can take to address parental alienation.
Try to engage the other parent
A great place to start is to try to figure out how to make peace with your co-parent. Try to find out why the other parent could be engaging in this kind of behavior.
If you can, recommend meeting a therapist to help you address your differences. Talk about the alienating behavior, how it makes you feel and the possible negative effects on the child and see if the other parent is willing to adjust their ways.
Document the behavior
It is important that you keep a journal of the alienating behavior just in case the matter ends up in court. Did they say something unpleasant in front of the child? Write down the exact thing they said, the date, place and the time. If there are witnesses around, be sure to note this too. This way, should the matter go to court, you will have adequate evidence to prove your alienation claims.
Get legal assistance
Parental alienation not only impacts the parent’s relationship with the child but also affects the child’s long-term development. If the other parent is engaging in alienating behavior, it is important that you take appropriate steps to address the problem. You may have to ask the court to intercede in order to protect your child.