Parental alienation occurs when one parent or guardian decides to interfere with the other parent’s visitation rights or otherwise try to sour the relationship between the child and the other parent.
Shaynelaw.com, an attorney in Colorado, mentions that parental alienation can take many forms – some may seem mild or petty, though they can have far-reaching consequences on both the child and the parent who is being alienated. It can be as simple as not telling the other parent about their child’s recital or game, or it can take on more abusive forms such as forcing the child to choose between one parent and the other. They may also attempt to cut off communication completely, and not let the other parent know the whereabouts of their children.
Some will even try to emotionally manipulate the child by saying harsh or untrue words about the other parent in an effort to make them look bad. This can cause significant emotional distress to the victimized parent but can also lead to the child developing mental health issues down the line.
It is Abusive to Children
Parental alienation is classified as child abuse. Divorce is already difficult for many children – it is therefore important that they maintain a strong and healthy relationship with both of their parents, even after the parents go their separate ways.
Parental alienation is abusive as it is a type of emotional manipulation – it may involve isolation, exploitation, and coercion. In extreme cases, the child will end up emotionally rejecting the other parent, which leads to negative feelings and the loss of a loving parent in the child’s life.
It Affects Divorce Proceedings
In the past, parental alienation was a largely overlooked form of child abuse. As more people become aware of it, it has started to change the way that divorce proceedings are handled. Victimized parents can often make a strong case against the offending parent, and may even be able to gain custody of their child.
Parental alienation has far-reaching effects on the children and the parents. Divorced parents must be vigilant to prevent this from happening and to protect the welfare of their child.