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What Are the Signs of Parental Alienation?

It is not uncommon for children to experience difficulties when it comes to coping with their parents’ divorce. Oftentimes, this results in anger, resentment, and a tendency to act out. However, if any of these negative behaviors are directed specifically at you and not at your former spouse, it is likely that he or she is attempting to isolate you from your children. This behavior is known as parental alienation.

These are some of the most common signs of parental alienation:

  • Giving your children a choice when it comes to visitation: When a parent creates the illusion of choice on an issue that has already been decided by the court, it creates unnecessary conflict and anger. Not only does it make the children feel helpless, but it also casts the other parent as a victim. If you ever observe your co-parent asking the children if they would like to visit you during your scheduled visitation, consider this a red flag.
  • Divulging too many details: Children, especially young children, have no reason to know the details of your divorce and, in fact, the subject matter is often inappropriate for their age. If your children appear to know too much about your divorce and you discover that your former spouse is telling them everything, you can bet that the purpose of these actions is to turn your children against you.
  • Having secrets: If your former spouse is using secret signals, attaching special meanings to certain words, or arranging private rendezvous, this can be destructive to your relationship with your children and further isolate you.
  • Setting up enticements that affect visitation: Obviously, your co-parent is aware of the dates you have scheduled with the children, so setting up enticements for them on these dates is unfair and will only create conflict. As a result, your children will feel like you are trying to stop them from enjoying themselves and spending quality time with their other parent.
  • Appearing to be sad or hurt when your children spend time with you: If your children see your former spouse cry or react in a manner that suggests sadness or hurt feelings every time they visit you, it will eventually make them feel guilty. This might make your children seem withdrawn whenever they spend time with you to avoid feeling like they are betraying their other parent by having a good time with you.
  • Blaming all the problems on you: If your former spouse is experiencing financial difficulties or is having to adjust to a change in lifestyle, he or she might blame these problems on you. You might even be blamed for the failure of your marriage, especially if you have a new partner in your life, regardless if you cheated or not.

Consult with a Compassionate Louisville Family Law Attorney Today!

If you and your spouse are getting a divorce, this is not the sort of legal matter you should handle on your own. At the Law Office of Todd K. Bolus, PLLC in Louisville, our legal team will guide you through this emotionally charged process and help you achieve the best outcome for your circumstances.

Our family law attorney has over 20 years of experience and is prepared to handle a variety of legal issues, including child custody, child support, and divorce.

Contact us today at (502) 272-9596 to schedule a confidential consultation.