parental alienation

Putting a Stop to Parental Alienation


A lot of times during messy divorces and custody battles, the children can get caught in the middle. You may not want to admit it, but you want your child to pick you over your spouse. Your spouse may feel the same way. This seemingly endless tug-of-war can be exhausting, not only for you but also for your children. 

Getting caught in the middle of a war can oftentimes end in broken relationships that may take time to mend. Parental alienation makes the child choose sides in a divorce or custody proceedings. This could completely damage the alienated parent’s relationship with the child and eventually, turn them against the other parent. 

Parental Alienation in Action

Sometimes, it may be hard to identify whether you’re a victim of parental alienation. If you suspect even the slightest change in your child’s behavior towards you, then you cannot let your guard down. Your spouse may already be turning your child against you and you won’t even know. If they are successful, it may be hard to bounce back to maintaining a fully-functioning relationship with your child, pushing them to become estranged or aloof. 

An effective alienation tactic can also hamper your visitation rights. It may be that the other parent will try to elude you at every turn, or that their mission was successful enough that your own child won’t want to meet with you anymore. 

Putting a Stop to Parental Alienation

When you notice that the other parent is alienating you, you can file an enforcement suit against them which alerts the court of their violations. The other parent may be held in contempt of court which can have monetary penalties or worse, up to six months of jail time. Although that may look like an extreme measure, it may be the only way you won’t cost yourself a relationship with your child. 

During the entire span of your divorce or child custody proceedings, remember why you’re going through it in the first place. You may no longer want a relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t want a relationship with your child. That’s your right as a parent. So you have to do everything it takes to maintain a healthy relationship or at the very least, not worsen your situation even further. 

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas.

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