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Understanding parental alienation in divorce cases

It is important for a couple going through a divorce or separation to always make sure that any and all decisions they make leading up to and effectively ending the relationship must maintain the best interest of the children in mind when kid are involved. As long as there is no abuse, there is wide consensus that in any child custody situation children who maintain a healthy, nurturing and loving relationship with both parents are much better off than children who do not. Sadly, oftentimes a parent who is going through a particularly contentious separation may allow their emotions to get the better of them by willfully sabotaging the relationship that their children have with the other parent. This is commonly referred to as parental alienation.

Parental alienation occurs when the alienating parent psychologically manipulates the child to reject or to openly become hostile to the other parent. Sometimes these actions are perpetrated subconsciously and unintentionally by the alienating parent by making belittling statements about the other parent. Oftentimes, however, when an alienating parent is engaged in active parental alienation they do so consciously and willfully.

Some possible indicators that parental alienation is taking place include having a custodial parent actively working at denying the other parent any parenting or visitation time and systematically doing everything in their power to cut off any access to the child. Another potential indicator would be a parent being denied information about how their child is performing in school or being denied medical updates when medical issues arise.

Source: Huffington Post, "Is Your Ex Turning Your Child Against You?," Joseph Cordell, Aug. 19, 2014

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