It’s no secret that divorce disrupts children’s lives and often causes emotional challenges for them. However, deciding to sever your marital ties doesn’t mean you disregard your children’s best interests. In fact, like most good parents in Arizona, that is likely one of your highest priorities as you make plans to move on in life.
When there’s a bit of bad blood between spouses as they part ways, things can get quite messy in court or even in the weeks and months that follow settlement. You might have to deal with some problematic issues with your ex from time to time. At no point, however, do you have to let him or her undermine your parental rights. If you suspect that he or she is trying to turn your kids against you, it’s critical that you know how to protect your rights.
What are the signs of parental alienation?
Most Arizona judges agree that children fare best in divorce when they maintain active, healthy relationships with both parents. The following list includes issues or situations that might suggest your ex is trying to alienate you from your children:
- If your kids suddenly don’t want to receive texts from you or video chat, etc., it’s definitely cause for concern.
- Have other people told you that your kids have said some very negative and untrue things about you? If so, your ex might be engineering a parental alienation scheme against you.
- When children use vocabulary or phrases that are beyond their level of maturity or that they themselves don’t seem to understand, it’s often because a parent has given them a sort of script to recite or things to say in response to certain questions.
- Children do not naturally have hatred or fear toward their parents, barring cases of neglect or abuse. If your kids are acting like they’re afraid of you or telling people they hate you and don’t want to see you, it definitely warrants further investigation.
- If other adults who know your ex tell you that he or she has been making disparaging comments about you when your kids are within hearing distance, it might not be coincidental.
- Do your children know specific details about your past relationship with your ex that you did not share with them? Parents who want to alienate co-parents often discuss financial problems, extra marital affairs or other adult issues with their kids in the hope of winning their children’s favor.
The court does not look favorably, however, on any parent who systematically tries to alienate a co-parent from his or her children. Sadly, such cases often involve abuse from the parent doing the alienating. Even if you don’t suspect that abuse is an issue in your children’s lives, you don’t have to sit back and do nothing when your ex is trying to isolate your kids or undermine your parental rights.
It’s natural to encounter challenges in your parent/child relationships when you divorce. It’s not natural for your kids to refuse to see you or talk to you, or to act with disdain toward you at any time. You have rights and can reach out for additional support if you believe your ex is trying to take revenge for your divorce by turning your kids against you.