Is your ex alienating you from your child?

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2024 | Family Law |

Divorce can put enormous stress on a family, especially when children are involved. Amidst the emotional roller-coaster that comes with the divorce, one or both parents might (intentionally or otherwise) engage in actions that undermine the other party’s relationship with the child. This is known as parental alienation.

Parental alienation often leads to the child rejecting or undermining the authority of the alienated parent. Parental alienation not only strains a parent-child relationship, it also hurts the child’s long-term well-being. Thus, if your ex is alienating you from your child, it’s in your best interest that you take steps to address the matter as soon as possible. 

Looking out for the signs of parental alienation

Parental alienation is a form of child abuse. Here are some of the behaviors that can amount to parental alienation:

Persistent blame games – when the other parent constantly blames you for the divorce or family breakup as well as any problem the child is facing, then you need to be concerned. Subtle remarks like, “We’d still be a family were your daddy or mummy to play her part well” Or “Daddy or mummy abandoned us” could as well give the child the impression that the alienated parent is bad. 

Using the child to spy on the other parent – sometimes, your ex could be using the child to gather intel on you. This can take the form of the child eavesdropping on your phone calls or asking questions about your personal life. 

Interference with visitation can also amount to parental alienation. 

Fighting parental alienation

If your ex is alienating you from your child, you need to act. First and foremost, you need to maintain a healthy relationship with your child. This is not the time to come up with your own version of alienation. Let your child know that you genuinely love them and that nothing will change that. Next, gather your evidence of the specific incidents of alienation and bring the matter to the attention of the court. Subject to the circumstances of your case, the court may be open to modifying the existing parenting plan in the best interest of the child.