Parental alienation is a tactic used by some parents to try to get their children to refuse to see their other custodial parent. This tactic is designed to manipulate the child and to harm the other parent.
Parental alienation is a serious problem for some families, particularly divorced or separated families in which there are still custody disputes. An alienating parent generally has some specific behaviors that they exhibit that are signs that they’re trying to get the relationship between their children and the other parent to break down.
What are some of the major red flags of parental alienation?
There are dozens of red flags that could signal that parental alienation is taking place. Here is a short list of 10 that you may notice.
- Filing allegations of abuse against a parent who has done nothing wrong
- Regularly interfering with custody time by calling too often, coming to pick up the children too soon, not dropping off the children at the right time or in other ways
- Impeding communication between the victimized parent and their children
- Being derogatory about the other parent in front of the children and others
- Making big promises, such as promises for gifts or vacations, if the children refuse to see the other parent
- Encouraging the children to be disrespectful to the other parent
- Referring to the children as their own and not the other spouse’s (i.e.: “I will do what I want with my children,” instead of our children)
- Refusing to update the other parent on their children’s schooling or medical issues
- Refusing to give contact information for where the children are staying in their care
- Refusing visitation despite court orders
These are just some of the many red flags of parental alienation. If your children are coming home and expressing that the other parent told them not to be nice to you or to look for specific information in your home to help with their custody case, it’s time to look into your legal rights. If your children’s behaviors change or you start to have custodial conflicts more regularly, you can take your case back to court.