Divorce is a sensitive matter with many moving parts and a number of complicating factors that can affect the outcome. Some of these factors are seemingly insignificant matters, while others are significant and possibly life-altering behaviors such as parental alienation.
Parental alienation refers to the act of one parent distancing their child from the other parent, sometimes turning them against the other parent entirely. Not only does this malicious behavior affect you, your child and the family as a whole, but it also has the potential to affect the court’s decisions regarding child custody during a divorce.
How does parental alienation affect divorce proceedings?
While parental alienation often begins as a way of “getting even” with the other parent, it usually does more harm to the child. Many experts regard parental alienation as a form of child abuse. For this reason, the presence of parental alienation becomes a major topic of discussion during custody proceedings and may result in the abusive parent losing some or all parental rights in the divorce.
How can parental alienation affect your family?
Proving that your spouse is guilty of abusive parental alienation can ensure that your child is safe from such malicious behavior in the future, but it does not heal the damage already inflicted. Children that suffered from parental alienation in the past may have lower self-esteem and might struggle to form meaningful relationships in the future. Your own relationship with your child may suffer as a result of the breach of trust enacted by your co-parent.
If you suspect that parental alienation is occurring in your family, it is important to mention it as part of your divorce case in the family court. Healing in the aftermath of parental alienation, however, may require the help of specialized therapists or counselors.