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3 Warning signs of Parental Alienation

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2022 | Child Custody and Visitation

What are 3 warning signs of parental alienation and why should you be vigilant about checking the abusive behavior of a former spouse and co-parent?  Parental alienation is based upon the actions of one parent attempting to turn a child against the other parent.  It is also considered to be consistent attempts to poison the relationship between a child and their other parent.  Parental alienation is absolutely not in the best interests of a child and the Courts have become quite adept at protecting our children from this potential harm.

It is estimated that 10% to 15% of San Diego divorce cases a child or children express resistance to spending time with one of the parents, even when all other outwardly appearances would suggest the relationships are safe.

While it can be difficult to diagnose the complex family issues 3 warning signs of parental alienation include consistently missing scheduled parenting time or visitation, a change in communications or the behavior of a child and toxic behavior from the other co-parent, especially in the presence of the child(ren).  Child custody and visitation are orders of the Court, both during the divorce and after.  Purposeful violations of those orders will concern the Court and a consistent pattern of missed scheduled visitation time should be a concerning sign.  Everyone gets sick, and there are scheduling conflicts from time-to-time.  There are often cases where children act out over the transfer from one co-parent to the other.  These are normal.  However, when you are consistently missing scheduled parenting time with your child(ren) make sure to carefully document each occasion.

A change in the behavior or communications access is another of the 3 warning signs of parental alienation.  Most parenting time orders include specific strategies to maintain open communications between co-parents and each child such as texting, email, social media and video calls.  If your child starts to withdraw from you (especially in front of the other parent) and open communications get fewer and farther between there may be an issue.  Children go through many phases as a part of growing up after a divorce, but patterns will usually develop.  All of these things may be the result of resentment and/or a toxic attitude by one of the co-parents toward the other.  Not every bump in the parenting road is a sign of parental alienation, but patterns should be warning flags deserving a closer look.

Are you concerned about consistently missed parenting time and communication patterns with one or more of your children during co-parenting?  We invite you to protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.