If you are going through a divorce, your top concern is undoubtedly the emotional well-being of your children. While divorce certainly can take a toll on any child’s psyche, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can take steps to minimize the emotional fallout your children experience. If your husband or wife is actively working against you, though, the relationship you have with your kids may be in danger.
According to Psychology Today, parental alienation happens in as many as 15% of divorces that involve kids. If you believe your spouse is trying to turn your children against you, you may have to act quickly to stop him or her.
What does parental alienation look like?
If you want to give your spouse the benefit of the doubt, it may be tempting to ignore the signs of possible parental alienation. While this type of parental misbehavior can be difficult to identify, a pattern or practice of doing any of the following may qualify:
- Convincing your children you are untrustworthy, abusive, dangerous or unreliable
- Badmouthing you or your parenting style
- Refusing to let you parent as you see fit or attend typical parent-child activities
What can you do about parental alienation?
It can be challenging to document parental alienation, but that is exactly what you should try to do. Often, saving e-mails, text messages and voicemails from an alienating spouse does the trick. You may also want to ask teachers, social workers, therapists and even relatives to record their observations.
After you have documentation of parental alienation, you may be able to ask a court to intervene. Ultimately, though, acting proactively and promptly prevents your spouse from forever damaging both you and your children.