When one parent stands between the other and a shared child, serious psychological damage can result. It’s called parental alienation, and it hurts everyone – including the parent who’s doing it. It’s often, but not always, done on purpose with the intent to “win” the kids from the other spouse. If you suspect your kids are being alienated from you, tell your Milwaukee divorce lawyer immediately, even if your divorce is already final.
What is Parental Alienation?
Parental alienation is a sort of brainwashing; it’s where one parent convinces kids that the other parent doesn’t deserve, want or need their love and affection. Stepparents can be guilty of parental alienation as well. Many things can disrupt a natural parent-child relationship, including:
- Interference with visitation rights
- Interference with parental participation
- Rejection of gifts given to the child by the alienated parent
- Negative talk about the alienated parent in front of the child
- Lies about the alienated parent
This isn’t a comprehensive list; your lawyer can help you evaluate what’s going on with your kids and if it may be parental alienation.
How Do Kids Behave When They’re Alienated from One Parent?
Child victims of alienation are confused, hurt and often angry. If you are the alienated parent, it’s heartbreaking to see your child suffering this emotional torment.
Many experts suggest that parental alienation is a form of abuse. Child victims may:
- Become defense or excessively supportive of the alienating parent
- Be cruel or verbally abusive to the alienated parent
- Have no guilt for being cruel to one parent
- Provide unsubstantiated reasons for being angry with the alienated parent
- Feel contempt for friends and family of the alienated parent
Because parental alienation can do permanent damage to your parent-child relationship, it’s essential that you tell your lawyer immediately if you suspect that’s what’s going on. You may have legal recourse, and your attorney can help protect your – and your child’s – legal rights.