Even under ideal circumstances, co-parenting with an ex-spouse can be challenging. After, all, during his or her parenting time, your ex mostly can raise your kids as he or she sees fit. There are some guidelines all co-parents must follow, however. An important one is abstaining from parental alienation.
According to Psychology Today, parental alienation is a psychological issue that happens when one parent tries to remove the other parent from the children’s lives. This type of emotional child abuse can include anything a parent does to cause the kids to dislike or distrust the other parent.
Common signs of parental alienation
As you might expect, it can be difficult to discern whether your ex-spouse is simply having a bad day or is trying to destroy the positive relationships you have with your children. This is because parental alienation can come in many different forms.
If your ex has a pattern of doing one or more of the following, though, you might be a victim of parental alienation:
- Attacking your ability to parent effectively
- Badmouthing you as a parent or person
- Telling your children you are useless, untrustworthy or dangerous
- Prohibiting your kids from communicating or interacting with you
- Leaving you out of normal parent-child functions or activities
While it may be tempting to ignore a single or off-handed comment or incident, you should keep track of your ex-spouse’s alienating actions. Your documentation might be valuable if you need to pursue your legal remedies.
Your legal remedies
Even though parental alienation is a psychological problem, you might have little choice but to resolve the issue in the courts.
Judges in Texas must consider the best interests of the involved children when making custody orders. Because parental alienation simply cannot be in any child’s best interests, requesting a modification of your current custody order may be necessary.
Ultimately, a modified custody arrangement might give you a prime opportunity to rebuild the healthy bonds you have always had with the young ones in your family.