What is parental alienation?

If you experience a divorce in Michigan with minor children in the home, you likely have a myriad of logistical and emotional issues to work through with your kids. However, their emotional trauma could become significantly more severe if your former spouse attempts to cut you off from your children. According to Psychology Today, parental alienation is an intentional, and often malicious, attempt of one parent to demonize the other in front of the children in order to undermine their relationship.

Parental alienation could occur if your ex has a difficult time distinguishing your broken spousal relationship from the parent-child relationship. In other words, he or she could assume that since your marriage did not work out, your parental role should not continue either. Therefore, he or she may speak negatively about you to the children, or even attempt to plant seeds of fear or mistrust in your children's minds so that they begin to turn against you. The other parent may also try to minimize the time you spend with the children. In some cases, your kids may feel pressured to choose one parent or the other, and if they constantly hear degrading accusations about you, they may begin to assimilate those opinions into their own thinking.

Sadly, parental alienation does not only affect you. It could lead to significant emotional issues for your children, such as irrational hatred, depression and post-traumatic stress. Some experts claim that a willful attempt to sabotage your relationship without justifiable cause is even a form of child abuse. Your children deserve the opportunity to maintain contact with both parents if possible, and refusing to do so shows a lack of concern for their well being. This information about parental alienation is intended for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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