Parental Alienation: When Parents Try to Turn Their Children Against Each Other
Child time-sharing cases are among the most contested in the Florida family courts. While many people are able to put their personal feelings aside for the sake of the child’s best interests, there are some parents who attempt to use their influence over the child as a weapon against the other party. This is commonly known as parental alienation. If you suspect this is happening in your case, the following offers important information on how to address the situation.
Parental Alienation Syndrome
While it is common for a child to act out against one or both parents during time sharing proceedings, particularly if they feel that parent is responsible for the breakup, there are actions parents sometimes take which aggravate these situations. Psychology Today reports that parental alienation syndrome is a term coined in the 1980s to describe when one parent attempts to turn a child against the other parent.
This often involves trying to put a wedge in the relationship by playing the victim, putting the other parent in a bad light, and trying to poison the child against them. Unfortunately, it is often effective at putting strain on the relationship and can create serious problems at home and may eventually result in complete estrangement. Ways one parent may try to alienate the child against the other include:
- Blaming the other parent for the breakup or lying to the child about why they are no longer together;
- Spoiling and overindulging the child, making the other parent out to be the ‘bad guy’;
- Setting the parent up to fail, such as making impossible promises to the child then blaming the other parent when they fail to materialize;
- Over-confiding with the child about depression, anxiety, or health disorders they are experiencing, which are allegedly caused by the other parent.
Unfortunately, in addition to robbing the child of a loving relationship and causing problems which can go on for years, this can have a very negative impact on their physical and emotional development. If this is going on in your family, it is a situation that needs to be immediately addressed.
Dealing With Parental Alienation in Your Time-Sharing Agreement
Under the Florida Statutes, the ability of the parents to cooperate with each other in providing for the child is generally a consideration when creating a parenting plan. Parental alienation is recognized by the courts and could be a factor in requesting a child time sharing modification.
It is important for the sake of both you and your child to speak with your attorney immediately if this type of behavior begins happening. The longer it goes on, the more harm it is likely to do to the child and your relationship with them and the harder it will be to repair.
Let Us Help You with Your Case
If parental alienation is an issue in your case, it is important to reach out to law firm of attorney Vanessa L. Prieto right away. Call or contact our Fort Lauderdale time-sharing attorney online and request a consultation today.