For parents in California and across the country, divorce can be challenging in both a practical and emotional sense. The issues that arise as a parent begin with the basics of child support, child custody and parenting plans. However, issues could extend further, especially in the case of a combative divorce. While many divorces will involve some level of anger and upset, it is possible for divorcing parents to act responsibly in the best interests of their children.
Parental alienation is one deeply unhealthy manifestation in some bitter divorces. This occurs when a child is urged, encouraged or forced by one parent to direct anger and hatred against the other parent. True parental alienation can be very psychologically damaging to children. It can also undermine the important bonds of trust and love between parent and child.
You need to be careful of parental alienation in your divorce and there are some warning signs to look out for. Official exclusion of one parent from a child’s life can be one of these signs. F or example, one parent may be denied access to a parent-teacher conference. The children themselves could say extremely derogatory things about the targeted parent or express a high level of anger in a way that seems to reflect the ex-partner rather than a parent-child conflict. They may not want the alienated parent to attend sporting events or other extra-curricular activities.
Parental alienation may seem as if it is on the extreme end of potential negative results of a divorce. Even among more amicable splits, however, it’s important to have legal representation. A family law lawyer can advocate for fair parenting time, child custody and child support arrangements between divorcing parents.