It is not often that the divorce process is free from challenges and disputes. Frequently, disagreements over the division of property, assets and business ownership require attention, focus as well as financial and emotional investment.
However, the procedure may be even more complex when children are at the center. Typically, both parents will have the best interests of the child at heart. Nonetheless, there may not be an agreement about what exactly the child’s best interests are.
Often, this can lead to one parent attempting to turn the child against the other. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as parental alienation. Parental alienation is a serious issue and the common warning signs of it warrant further consideration.
1. One parent may be controlling over parent-child communications
If a former spouse is uncomfortable with you and your child communicating with one another, they may attempt to take control of the situation. Frequently, this involves monitoring calls, messages and conversations. In extreme scenarios, a parent may even try and dictate what the child can and cannot say to you.
2. Key parenting information may be hidden from you
Occasionally, a former spouse may want to exclude you from important aspects of your child’s life. For example, they might not tell you if your child has received medical treatment or performed well at school. Also, they could choose not to inform you of the child’s new hobbies, friends and interests. When this is done purposely to try and distance you from your child, it could be a sign of parental alienation.
3. When special activities are planned on your allocated days
Both you and your child may be looking forward to an anticipated visiting day. However, a former spouse might attempt to deliberately interfere with this by planning something that purposefully clashes. For example, they could arrange a party with all of the child’s best friends. If this is done with the intention of making it seem like you have forced the child to skip something they might enjoy, it could be an indication of parental alienation.
Parental alienation can do significant damage to your parent-child relationship. As a result, it is worth tackling as early as possible. As a parent and spouse in Pennsylvania, you are legally protected and can enforce your rights.