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Recognizing the Signs of Parental Alienation

Establishing a child custody arrangement is one of the most challenging aspects of the divorce process. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for many ex-spouses to treat each other cordially once the divorce has been finalized. In fact, sometimes a resentful ex-spouse can behave in a way that unintentionally influences how a child perceives their other parent. In worst-case scenarios, an ex may intentionally drive a wedge that separates a child physically and emotionally from their other parent.

Parental alienation is a serious concern for many divorced parents. The only way to manage the situation is to recognize the signs of parental alienation and, if necessary, seek legal assistance.

What Is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation occurs when one parent manipulates a child into disengaging emotionally from their other parent. By exploiting a child’s guilt and confusion, a parent can trick their child into attaching negative associations to their other parent. However, this creates a difficult psychological dilemma that can permanently traumatize a child.

Behaviors that lead to parental alienation include:

  • Speaking negatively about an ex
  • Inventing lies about an ex
  • Disobeying the child custody court order
  • Refusing to allow a child to spend time with their other parent
  • Questioning the child about the other parent’s lifestyle
  • Asking the child to spy on an ex
  • Acting noticeably sad if the child has fun with the other parent
  • Monitoring a child’s communication with their other parent
  • Withholding information about a child’s activities or appointments
  • Discussing the divorce with the child and casting blame on the other parent
  • Telling the other parent that the child doesn’t want to see them

Before a divorce can be finalized, the court reviews how parents plan to share custody and decide if the parenting time schedule ultimately benefits the needs of the child. It’s illegal for one spouse to disobey this court order by preventing their child from maintaining a healthy relationship with their other parent. If your ex is negatively influencing your child and restricting your court-ordered custody time, contact the Illinois child custody attorneys at Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

Schedule a Consultation Today

Contact Wakenight & Associates, P.C. if you’ve been denied visitation or are seeking a child custody modification. Our Illinois child custody lawyers have a comprehensive understanding of divorce and family law.

Safeguard your relationship with your child today. Call Wakenight & Associates, P.C. to schedule a free consultation.

We have offices located in Elmhurst Oak Park, Joliet, Mokena, and more.


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