How to Combat Parental Alienation During Your Divorce
Parental alienation during divorce is more common than many people think. One study has found that parental alienation plays a part in 11 to 15 percent of all divorces. For the parent being alienated, this can be devastating and frustrating. How does one prove the other parent is attempting alienation of children? Is there anything a parent can do about this?
What Is Parental Alienation?
Parental alienation occurs when one parent attempts to interfere in his or her children’s relationship with the other parent. This commonly happens during and after divorce, although sometimes it may even begin to happen towards the end of the marriage.
A parent may commit alienation by telling their children that the other parent does not really love them or does not want to see them. However, alienation is not always so obvious. Sometimes, one parent will simply speak negatively about the other parent in front of the children, such as by blaming the other parent for the divorce, for financial difficulties, or for any other problems the children are experiencing. Over time, children may believe what they hear and start to pull away from the parent they are being alienated from.
How to Prove Parental Alienation
When children are alienated from a parent, this can be devastating. The alienated parent may feel as though there is not much he or she can do about it. However, if a parent can prove that the other parent is alienating their children against him or her, he or she can take the matter to court. However, alienation is often difficult to prove, so knowing the right steps to take is crucial.
Firstly, always make sure that any time you wish to see your children, you make the request in writing. Send a text or email to the other parent stating that you would like to see the children, the date you are requesting, and what you have planned for the visit. Even if the other parent does not allow you to see your children, this will help you demonstrate that you have made an effort to spend time with your children and that the other parent has refused to allow it.
While making the request in writing can be helpful, you will not have all the details you may need. In addition, keep a journal about all interactions with the other parent regarding your children and your parenting time. Make sure to specify when the other parent blocked access to the children, the excuses they used, and other important details involved in the situation.
Seeking therapy may sound extreme, but it can often be very helpful in cases involving parental alienation. Not only will speaking to someone help relieve you of some of your frustration and learn how to handle the emotions involved in this difficult situation, but it can also show the court that you are making an effort to be a good parent. In fact, inviting the alienating parent to a therapy session or two can help you show that you are trying to work together to be a co-parent, but the other parent is resistant.
Finally, remain persistent. Parent alienation cases hinge on patterns displayed by the other parent, and those take time to establish. Continue following these steps and preparing for your day in court, when you can argue that steps need to be taken to address the ongoing parental alienation.
Do You Have a Child Custody Issue? Speak to a Rolling Meadows Family Law Attorney
Parental alienation is just one of the many issues that may be involved in an Illinois divorce. If you are considering divorce or need help addressing child custody issues, you should speak with an attorney immediately. Contact dedicated Hoffman Estates child custody lawyer Nicholas W. Richardson at 847.873.6741. He can help with every issue pertaining to your divorce and negotiate with the other side to help you obtain the most favorable terms. When the other side does not play fair, he can also hold them accountable in court. Call our office now for your free consultation.