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Recognizing Parental Alienation During and After Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneys, parental alienation, children and divorce, Wheaton divorce lawyer, parental responsibilityThe end of a marriage can be very difficult for everyone involved, but children are often especially negatively affected during this emotional time. During divorce, it is important to protect children’s best interests, and they should be able to maintain a positive relationship with both parents.

Unfortunately, conflicts between spouses often spill over into their children’s lives. Whether parents involve children in these conflicts intentionally or unintentionally, they can cause serious harm to their children when they do so.

Types of Parental Alienation

When one parent tries to harm their children’s relationship with the other parent, this is known as parental alienation. While some parents make overt attempts to negatively affect their ex-spouse’s lives, parental alienation can also occur in a subtle and even unconscious manner.

Alienation can take many forms, including:

  • Making disparaging comments to children about the other parent. This can include sharing too much information about the divorce and the reason the marriage failed, calling the other parent’s decisions into question, or blaming the other parent for financial problems;

  • Questioning children about the other parent’s personal life;

  • Monitoring communication between children and the other parent, such as phone conversations or text messages;

  • Trying to make children choose which parent they will spend time with. This can be especially damaging when children do not actually have a choice, making them feel guilty for following a court-ordered parenting time schedule;

  • Acting disappointed when children enjoy their time with the other parent;

  • Withholding information about children’s activities or doctor appointments from the other parent;

  • Failing to meet court-ordered obligations of parental responsibilities or parenting time;

  • Denying the other parent access to children, refusing to be flexible regarding requested changes to the parenting time schedule, or scheduling children’s activities or appointments to purposely conflict with the other parent’s parenting time; and

  • Refusing to allow children to bring their possessions to the other parent’s home.

Parental alienation is not only damaging to children’s emotional health and development, it can result in negative legal consequences. According to Illinois law, a parent who consistently interferes with the other parent’s access to their children may have their parental responsibility and parenting time restricted by the court.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Lawyer

If your child has begun acting angrily toward you without being able to explain their reasons for feeling this way, this may be a sign of parental alienation. If you suspect that your ex-spouse is attempting to alienate your children against you, the skilled, experienced attorneys of Anderson & Associates, P.C. can help you understand your legal options, working to protect your rights and advocating for your children’s best interests. Contact our DuPage County divorce attorneys at 630-653-9400 to schedule an initial consultation.





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