Like all good parents in Texas, you love your children and want what’s best for them. When you decided to file for divorce, you understood the implications your decision would have on their lives. However, you may have never expected that your ex would try to turn your kids against you by using parental alienation tactics. Consider this issue an urgent child custody problem.
Parental alienation occurs in a divorce when one parent systematically uses underhanded strategies to turn his or her children against the other parent. Many people do this as an act of revenge toward their ex. The worst part of such schemes is that they typically cause serious emotional trauma to children.
Parental alienation violates your rights
Just because you no longer wanted to be in a relationship with your former spouse, it doesn’t mean you were abdicating your rights or responsibilities as a parent. Your ex cannot deny you access to your children, unless there is a court order prohibiting you from seeing them. The following list shows various behaviors you might notice in your children if their other parent is trying to turn them against you:
- They might say terrible things to you or about you, such as saying they hate you or that the divorce is all your fault.
- If you try to speak to them, see them or pick them up for a custody exchange, they might refuse to come out of their rooms or might block your number on their cell phones.
- Your kids might bad-mouth you to other people, such as friends or relatives.
- They might turn against your whole extended family.
- Your kids might complain about bizarre issues, such as the way you dress or chew your food, claiming that is why they don’t want to see you.
It is likely that their other parent has filled their minds with such ideas to turn them against you. While such situations can be emotionally upsetting and frustrating, it’s best to try to remain calm and seek legal enforcement of your child custody agreement or court order.
What can the court do about parental alienation?
The court can find a parent in contempt for trying to alienate the other parent from his or her children. A judge may also see fit to modify the child custody order, perhaps granting sole custody to the rejected parent. It’s important to note, however, that children who have fallen victim to such hateful schemes have emotional scars that take a long time to heal.
Therefore, if this has happened to your family, you may want to seek resources in your Texas community to help you and your kids restore your relationship and find healing. There may be a family support group nearby, a licensed counselor or minister of faith who can provide encouragement and support.