Every parent realizes that kids often go through phases. While it can be difficult to identify the cause of a child’s disrespectful or hurtful behavior, a co-parent should not be the source. Sometimes, though, divorced parents intentionally or inadvertently engage in parental alienation. This occurs when one parent tries to destroy the other parent’s relationship with the kids.
If you share custody of your children with an ex-spouse, you likely face some challenges. After all, you and your former partner may not see eye-to-eye on the right way to raise the kids. Nonetheless, you should be able to count on your ex-spouse not to alienate your children. Here are three signs of possible parental alienation:
1. Parroted language
During or after your marriage, you may have heard your former spouse make disparaging comments about you. In fact, you can probably recite some of the ugly words from memory. If your son or daughter begins to use the same language, you may have evidence of parental alienation.
2 . Missed parenting time
It can be heartbreaking to hear a child say that he or she does not want to spend time with you. While your kids may get caught up in their own lives, their co-parent should encourage them to visit you regularly. If your ex-spouse allows your children to back out of scheduled visits, parental alienation may be his or her motivation.
3. Lost affection
You and your kids may have always had a close relationship. Nevertheless, if your child tells you that he or she no longer loves you, then you may have an issue with parental alienation. The same is true if your son or daughter expresses fear, anger, resentment or distrust toward you.
Florida judges tend to believe that parental alienation runs directly counter to the best interests of the children. Therefore, it is a serious issue in child custody matters. If you think that your ex-spouse is trying to damage the relationship you have with your kids, you likely must act quickly both to repair your relationship and to protect your kids.