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What is Parental Alienation?

During a divorce, there are many cases where one parent hates their spouse more than they love their child or children. When something like this happens, issues like parental alienation occur. Parental alienation is a consistent set of behaviors that work to drive a wedge or create an issue between a parent and their child/children. Parental alienation can be portrayed is small ways such as one parent making their child feel guilty for enjoying spending time with the other parent. Or, it can be more apparent in ways like throwing away gifts that were given to them by a parent.

Despite the way it is shown, parental alienation is a form of child abuse and should never be taken lightly. All children deserve to have a relationship with both parents as long as they are not involved in any behavior that could be detrimental to the child. When a child is told negative things about a parent, it affects them differently. They are a by-product of both dad and mom. So, hearing bad things about their dad could also make them feel like they are a bad person as well.

Unfortunately, many divorced parents can probably find themselves guilty of alienation in some way, shape or form. Many spouses are angry at their ex, which causes them to lash out in ways that involve alienating their children. While you may find yourself wanting to hurt your ex as they have hurt you, it's important to remember that this should never come at the expense of your children. Your children should not be involved in verbal rants about their parent, nor should they be kept away from their other parent as a way to punish or hurt the former spouse. Even more importantly, you should never put your child in a position to where they feel like they have to choose a side.

Examples of alienation include:

● Speaking poorly about a parent in front of the child/children

● Making children feel guilty for loving the other parent or for wanting to go see them

● Making children spy or feel like they have to choose between their mother or father

● Not allowing children to contact their mother or father and persuading them the parent doesn't care

● Actively trying to turn children away from their parent

If your former spouse is trying to alienate your children from you, here's what you should do:

● Seize every opportunity to spend time with your children and always let them know how much they mean to you

● Document every attempt that is made for you to contact your children that is refused by your spouse

● Never make your children feel like they need to choose between you and your ex-spouse - let them know it's okay to love both of you

● Get law enforcement involved if needed

● Always take the high road and be civil

The Holman Law Firm is committed to providing the best legal service in Pensacola, Destin, Pace and Cantonment, FL in a variety of legal areas including Family Law and Personal Injury. We specialize in Fathers' Rights and will be there every step of the way to fight for your rights. Contact us now for a free consultation at 850-435-6909 or go online at www.holmanfirm.com.

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