Parental Alienation in Westborough Child Custody Cases
For many parents, one of the most daunting aspects of divorce is the idea that your relationship with your children will be compromised. As a child custody lawyer can tell you, many divorced parents are able to avoid this by maintaining an amicable relationship for the child’s benefit. Others are not so lucky. When divorce involves a high level of conflict or ill will, children can often get caught in the middle.
Parental alienation can take many forms, and while it often manifests in subtle ways, the consequences can be devastating for the child and parents alike. The practice can involve manipulating a child in order to cultivate distrust, fear, or disrespect for the other parent. Oftentimes it occurs when a custodial parent does (or fails to do) something, either actively or passively, that diminishes the noncustodial parent’s ability to have a meaningful relationship with the child.
Signs of Parental Alienation
Examples include when the custodial parent:
- Acts hurt if the child displays positive feelings about the noncustodial parent.
- Asks the child to lie to the noncustodial parent or be secretive.
- Puts fear into the child’s head by making statements in front of or to the child that the noncustodial parent is untrustworthy or abusive.
- Encouraging the child to show disrespect towards the other parent.
- Using the child to spy or gather information about the other parent.
- Calls constantly during the noncustodial parent’s parenting time to “make sure the kids are okay.”
- Cutting off or terminating parenting time without a court order because “the child doesn’t want to go.”
How An Attorney Can Help
At O’Connor Family Law, we understand the distress or hopelessness you may feel in these situations. We want you to know that the law can be on your side—and we most definitely are. We can provide you with a strategy to obtain effective legal recourse against parental alienation, so you can continue to foster a positive relationship with your child. In these types of situations, it is very important to act quickly as soon as you believe alienation is taking place. Call us today to see how our experienced attorneys can help.