The tension between you and your spouse during a divorce can make court proceedings more difficult. The relationship between the two of you can also impact the relationship that each of you has with the children.
Some people will use their children like weapons during or after a contentious divorce. They will interfere in the relationship that the other parent has with the children and even try to turn the children against that parent. The result is not just damage to the parent who becomes alienated from the children. This process is also emotionally and psychologically damaging for the kids.
When might you be at risk of parental alienation?
When your ex wants to punish you
If your ex is still angry about the failure of your marriage and feels like the whole situation is that’s your fault, they might see the children and your time with them as a way to penalize you for what they perceive as your failings during the marriage or your contributions to the divorce.
Parental alienation may start with one parent talking negatively about the other. The children may start to believe the accusations or to repeat them in the hope of getting the approval of the parent making the claim. Eventually, the children may come to believe the negative things said about their other parent.
When your ex threatens you regarding custody
If your ex said to you during the early stages of your divorce that you would never see your children again, that is a warning sign that they have no qualms about interfering with your parental rights. Although they may not do so immediately, they may begin shortening your parenting time, scheduling other appointments when you should be with the kids or even canceling entire visits.
Parental alienation may start with the parent canceling and may build up to the children eventually refusing to spend time with one parent. Doing your best to continue showing up for your children and documenting the things your ex says to and about you, as well as your lost visitation and parenting time opportunities, can help you fight back
Convincing the Illinois family courts that parental alienation has affected your relationship with the children could get them to update your custody order.