When you decided that you wanted to sever your marital ties, you may have felt a bit of anxiety regarding how your decision would affect your children's lives. It's no secret that divorce is often emotionally difficult for kids. However, it's also true that children are typically adaptable, especially if they feel the love and strong support of their parents and others.
Once you finalized your divorce, you might have thought things were off to a good start. You have a court order in place that includes terms for child custody and child support. The only problem is that you've noticed a change in your kids' attitudes toward you, and you suspect your ex may be the driving force behind it. Parental alienation can be a serious post-divorce complication. It's critical that you know your rights and how to protect them.
It might not be your imagination
It's not uncommon to try to shrug things off if you think you notice something odd in your former spouse's behavior. After all, you worked hard to achieve a settlement so that you and your kids can move on in life, and the last thing you want is more trouble. The following list includes signs that what you are noticing may be actual attempts to alienate your children from you:
- A co-parent who is trying to turn children against the other parent will often make disparaging remarks about the other parent in front of the children.
- Children often imitate the behavior of their parents. If they hear and see negative comments and behaviors toward a co-parent, they may begin to exhibit similar behavior.
- Adults often lie to try to turn kids against their other parent. They may even tell them that the other parent does not love them or will abandon them, and they may even use the example of the other parent having "walked out" of the marriage as evidence of that.
- Children who appear to feel guilty or blame themselves for a divorce may be victims of parental alienation syndrome.
- If your children seem to think your ex is capable of no wrong, it might be a warning sign that they are victims of PAS abuse.
- Many types of emotional, physical or methodical abuse attempt to isolate victims from outside support. If you believe your ex is keeping your kids from seeing friends, relatives or you, their safety and best interests may hinge on you taking immediate action to further investigate the situation.
You definitely do not have to sit back and allow your ex to trample your parental rights. The problem is that when kids are suffering from PAS, it can be quite difficult to reconcile the parent/child relationships, even when you have proof that you have not done the things your co-parent has accused you of. That's why it's also important for you to know where to seek family support, not only to help your children emotionally heal but to legally rectify the situation as well.