Manipulation is a very sad reality in many child custody disputes. Some parents are dedicated to psychologically abusing their children in hopes of distancing them from their other parent and securing as much time with their child as they can. There are many strategies that these manipulative parents utilize, including various parental alienation techniques such as feeding false or intimate information to your child or scheduling enjoyable activities during a time when the child is supposed to be with you.
Beware of maternal gatekeeping
Another strategy that is oftentimes used in these instances is maternal gatekeeping. Here, a mother either consciously or subconsciously restricts a father’s participation in his child’s life. Sometimes this occurs out of resentment for a failed relationship with the father or because, rightly or wrongly, the mother thinks that restricting access is in the child’s best interests.
This gatekeeping can present itself in various ways. A mother may lock a father out of a relationship with his child by simply failing to keep him informed of the child’s educational and medical status, or she may limit his contact with the child. The mother oftentimes speaks poorly of the father in front of the child, too. When confronted with this, the mother may tell the father that she knows what’s best for the child.
This gatekeeping can be consistent, but it can amplify during times of conflict. So if you find yourself facing this problem, you might see efforts amplified by your child’s mother when you try to confront her about it.
What can you do about it?
Parental alienation and maternal gatekeeping can be a form of child abuse. After all, your child’s other parent is engaging in psychological tactics meant to distance you from your child. Yet, very few courts and attorneys understand these very real and severe problems, which may limit your ability to successfully address the matter through a child custody modification.
But our firm is well-versed in this area of the law. We know the research, the signs of manipulation, and how to educate the courts on the matter. In other words, we know how to aggressively advocate for our clients in these cases. So, if you’re facing challenges in this regard, then we encourage you to continue to browse our website to see what we have to offer.