Parental alienation is a malicious act, regardless of whether or not the offending parent is cognizant of their behavior. Any instance of one parent physically distancing their child from the other parent or unduly influencing the child’s opinion of that parent can be an example of parental alienation.
Not only can alienating behaviors be harmful to a child and the family dynamic as a whole, but it can also affect divorce proceedings for spouses in the midst of determining child custody. By understanding how exactly the presence of parental alienation can affect child custody matters, you can make the best decisions for protecting your child.
How does parental alienation affect custody proceedings during divorce?
One parent who is guilty of alienating their child from the other might be acting the way they are to lash out at their spouse, but the act tends to be more harmful to the child. Experts agree that parental alienation is, in fact, a form of emotional child abuse. A judge ruling in the best interest of the child will take this into consideration during divorce proceedings and may strip the offending individual of their child custody privileges.
How will parental alienation affect your family?
Receiving a favorable child custody verdict during your divorce can ensure a safe future for your child, but it may not undo the damage already inflicted. Children that experienced parental alienation in the past tend to have lower self-esteem and might develop lasting feelings of guilt, anxiety or depression.
The occurrence of parental alienation can strengthen your own stance when negotiating child custody during divorce, so it is important to be vocal on the matter. Beyond that, it may be necessary to seek specialized therapy to help your child and your relationship recover from the effects of parental alienation.