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Wheaton child custody attorney for parental alienationIdeally, unmarried and divorcing parents would place their children’s well-being above their own angry or vengeful feelings toward their ex. Unfortunately, the pain of a divorce or breakup can sometimes make parents lose sight of what is really important. Some parents even attempt to influence or coach their children to dislike the other parent. Whether this influence is intentional or unintentional, the results can be extremely harmful to both the children and the other parent. “Parental alienation” occurs when a parent manipulates a child in such a way that the child begins to feel fearful or hostile toward the other parent. It is possible that parental alienation can have a substantial effect on child custody.

What Actions May Be Considered Parental Alienation?

Romantic partners or spouses who have ended their relationship will often harbor some degree of bitterness or spite. However, it is important for parents to avoid letting their feelings toward their ex influence the relationship between their ex and their shared children. If a parent disparages the other parent to the point that it begins to break down the relationship between the child and the other parent, this may be considered parental alienation. Parental alienation may involve:

  • Refusing to inform the other parent about the child’s school or extracurricular activities

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Whether you are in the stages of drafting a plan for parenting time (child visitation), making arrangements for allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody), or you find yourself in the beginning stages of divorce, parental conflict is inevitable as you navigate separation.

While a number of marriages end mutually with little, if any, drama, it is not uncommon for those separating to experience a wide range of emotions and feelings of unresolved resentment during the split. This can lead to excess tension that impacts the children during the divorce and ultimately can leave marks on the entire family long after the separation is complete.

Keeping the Peace

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