The tension that comes with many divorces and separations can carry over from the spouses and impact the relationship a parent has with their children. Unfortunately, some parents actively work to strain the relationship between their spouse and children. This is known as child alienation.

There are countless of reasons why child alienation might occur. Some acts of alienation are done out of anger, while others are calculated to interfere with custody rights or visitation.

If you are the victim of child alienation, a practiced attorney might be able to help. You have the right to develop a relationship with your children free from alienation or interference. A family law attorney can help you deal with the consequences of Rockville child alienation.

Understanding Child Alienation

While it is not always categorized as such, child alienation is a form of child abuse. It is a process where a child becomes estranged from one parent due to the abusive manipulation of the second parent.

Alienation manifests itself in many ways. Some children respond to manipulation by withdrawing from their relationship with the other parent. Other children will actively grow hostile, lashing out at the parent that is the target of alienation. Alienation involves a stronger reaction than some of the emotions that are normal among children experiencing divorce.

While child alienation primarily affects the relationship between a parent and child, it is not unusual for it to extend to entire family units. For example, efforts at alienation could push a child to become estranged not only from a parent but also from the grandparents and other family members from that side of the family.

How Alienation Happens

The frayed relationships that occur due to child alienation do not happen overnight. Instead, some of the factors that go into the poisoning of these relationships occur due to a pattern or practice of denigration from one parent to another. Some possible causes of child alienation include:

  • Preventing the child from seeing the estranged parent
  • Assigning blame for the divorce on the other parent
  • Making disparaging comments about the other parent
  • Denying access to health or education decisions to the estranged parent

Parents often notice the signs of alienation right away. Children that appear to take sides in the divorce, argue about parenting decisions, or suddenly refuse to participate in parental visits could be facing pressure to estrange themselves.

Protecting Parental Rights During Alienation

There are legal steps a parent can take to address child alienation, but they can be challenging. Ultimately, the court will determine whether actions by a parent are in the best interest of their child or not. If the estranged parent can establish that the other parent’s actions are not in the child’s best interests, the court might alter the custody arrangement.

In other cases, the court could sanction the parents or order them to avoid any sort of behavior that could alienate a child from their parent. It is important not only to have an attorney advocate on your side in these types of cases who can outline for the court of this type of behavior but also for the alienated parent to maintain as much documentation and evidence as possible.

Discuss Child Alienation in Rockville with an Attorney

If you are dealing with child alienation, you are not without legal options. Your attorney can help you protect your parental rights and prove to the court that the other parent is manipulating your children against you.

Facing this type behavior can be difficult, but it is in your best interest to address it immediately. Schedule a confidential consultation today to learn about Rockville child alienation.