A common concern among parents is how their divorce will affect their relationship with their children. It is a difficult and emotional process for everyone involved.
But when one parent actively tries to sabotage the other parent’s relationship with their children, it can have devastating consequences.
Signs of parental alienation
Parental alienation occurs when one parent uses psychological manipulation in an attempt to turn the child against the other parent. There are several ways this can be accomplished, such as:
- Limiting the time the child spends with the parent or denying visitation rights
- Monitoring phone calls, emails, text messages and other forms of communication
- Undermining the other parent’s authority
- Encouraging the child to be disrespectful
There are some signs that your ex-spouse is attempting to harm your relationship with your child, including:
- Your child makes disparaging remarks about you while defending the other parent
- They are angry at you
- There is a reluctance to spend time with you
- They seem to be afraid or anxious when they are with you
Not only is parental alienation hurtful for the targeted parent, but it also causes mental and emotional harm to the child. It can lead to long-term issues such as low self-esteem, depression and problems with future relationships.
This type of psychological manipulation is considered a form of child abuse due to its damaging effects.
New York State family courts take parental alienation very seriously. Their job is to protect the children’s best interests. If they find evidence of attempted alienation, they may change custody and visitation rights.
If you feel your ex-spouse is maliciously trying to turn your children against you, you must seek help immediately from someone who can protect your rights.