Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation

Family Law Attorney in Oakland County, Michigan

During a divorce, it is not uncommon for a child of the divorcing parents to feel isolated, withdraw their emotions, and generally steer clear of their parents while the divorce progresses. It is uncommon, however, for a child to only disfavor or become aggressive towards one parent. When this occurs, it is known as parental alienation.

Although parental alienation can sometimes be caused solely by the child’s own reaction to the divorce, it is often spurred on by the non-alienated parent. When this is the case, it may require a divorce attorney to correct.

Contact our Michigan family lawyer if you are facing parental alienation and need legal help.

Behaviors that Encourage Parental Alienation

In a heated contested divorce, a parent overcome with their own feelings of loss, betrayal, or competition may lose sight of what is right and actively try to turn their children against their spouse. The root of their intentions may be tied to gaining primary child custody rights by convincing their children that they are the only parent that loves them. With primary child custody also comes child support payments to be made by the other spouse: so financial gain could be a motivating factor behind their dishonest and corrosive behavior.

Certain behavior or actions that are indicative of intentionally encouraging parental alienation are:

  • Telling a child to violate the preexisting parenting schedule to favor one parent.
  • Divulging unnecessary details about the cause of the divorce with intent to lead to favoritism towards one parent.
  • Directly claiming that the other parent is the sole cause of the hardship or divorce.
  • Instructing the child to eavesdrop on the other parent and report their findings in secret.
  • Acting as if the child needs to be protected from the other parent, despite no evidence of domestic violence.

How to Stop Parental Alienation

Dealing with the intentional parental alienation spurred on by a scorned ex-spouse is difficult, mainly due to the fact that he/she will hide evidence of their actions from you. Without solid evidence, you must be careful of taking an accusatory position, or else you risk being viewed as the one attempting to cause parental alienation.

Work with an attorney to help you evaluate the situation and use proof to your advantage, such as:

  • Email transcripts
  • Text message history
  • Testimonies from your child

When your case is collected and reviewed, you can bring it to a family law court’s attention. If the court agrees that your ex-spouse has done wrong and intentionally turned your child against you, the court can take action through orders to bring it to a halt. This may include changing child custody agreements through modifications to remove the child from the alienating spouse.

Want to know more about what you can do regarding parental alienation? Contact our Michigan family law attorney today.