Shared custody can get complicated. Many issues may arise even after a resolution has been reached in court, and these can impact your relationship with your children in negative ways.
One potential issue is parental alienation, which may cause your children to prefer your ex over you. Parental alienation can significantly damage your parent-child relationship and custody rights. To understand what warning signs that indicate parental alienation, consider these common examples:
Telling your child not to talk to you
Your ex may instruct your child not to talk to you or encourage them not to do so. This could be a major issue if part of your parenting time involves phone calls and video chats.
Telling the child that negative events are your fault
If your child spends more time with your ex, they can really impact how the child thinks about you. For instance, your ex could blame you for the divorce, tell the child everything you did wrong or just invent lies and stories to shift the blame for any negative event — past or present — onto you.
Making the child choose
One of the more subtle ways to alienate a co-parent is just to tell the child to choose where they want to stay. Your ex may even say that they’re doing this with the child’s best interests in mind, giving them a say in their situation, but they’re really doing it to get the child to choose them and to resent the court-ordered time that they spend with you.
What can you do about parental alienation?
It’s frustrating to feel like your child is being manipulated into not wanting a relationship with you. You need to know what legal options you have to fight back. Working with an experienced attorney is essential to overcome this kind of tactic from your ex-spouse.