Divorce can be emotionally trying and unfortunately, sometimes children get the worst of it. When there is a child involved and the custody and visitation agreement has been worked out, in theory, the parents stick to what they are supposed to do with regard to their child. However, it doesn’t always work out the way that it should and there are times when it gets complicated and ugly.
There are times when one parent has no intention of sticking to their part of the agreement (or, perhaps, did have an intention initially to do the right thing but then got sidetracked and that agreement went south). In many cases, one parent will alienate the child from the other parent for a variety of reasons. Aside from that being illegal and unethical, the child is used as a pawn under such circumstances and that is never good and will always turn out disastrously.
Exactly what is parental alienation?
It is important to understand what parental alienation is and what it is not. There are many people who feel that parental alienation is a form of child abuse. At the very least, parental alienation undoubtedly affects children in a profoundly negative way. In order to flourish, children need two loving parents who give all that they have to give to the child, even if those parents have decided that they are better off not living together.
It is not uncommon that the relationship between the two parents eventually evolves into one of negative feelings and unhealthy behavior. However, as adults, those parents should tread carefully when it comes to what they say and do with the child in reference to the other parent. The child should never be put in a position where they have to choose one parent over the other and that child should certainly not be manipulated so that the relationship that they shared with the other parent is made to deteriorate.
What can be done about parental alienation?
If a parent can prove parental alienation, they can ask for help from the state court, where a family judge can choose a mental health professional to evaluate the custody agreement that is in place in that particular family. The mental health professional has the expertise to identify child abuse but alienation (although considered a form of child abuse) is an especially heinous and destructive form of child abuse and they can offer strategies to the other parent about what to do to combat the situation and to help the child.
There is a distinction between parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome (PAS). PAS is defined as a childhood disorder that is most often associated with child-custody battles. With PAS, the alienating parent “brainwashes” the child into rejecting the other parent. From the perspective of the syndrome, the child must “hate” the other parent in order to be able to “love” the first parent. This syndrome only thrives if there is no other type of child abuse or neglect that is going on. In short, parental alienation is an extremely painful situation to experience, most of all for the child, who clearly doesn’t deserve it.
Getting help from a Michigan parental alienation lawyer
If you are divorced from your child’s other parent, you still share the child and you owe it to your child as well as to yourself to make the best of a difficult situation. You and your co-parent may disagree about many things but you should both try to do everything within your power to protect your child from all of that and try to love, nurture and shield your child in the best possible way.
If you feel that you and your child are victims of parental alienation from the other parent, the advice of a Michigan parental alienation lawyer may make a tremendous difference to your case. Undoubtedly, you must be experiencing a painful situation and having the support of a person who can really help because they really understand may give you peace of mind. Additionally, you need to protect your rights as well as the rights of your child in such a situation.