Florida parents know that divorce is often most difficult for the youngest members of the family. Children may have a hard time when their parents decide to move forward with ending their marriage. The upheaval and stress that come with moving and major life changes can be difficult. These difficulties do not always end simply because the divorce process is final.
Children are not the only ones to experience difficult emotions during a divorce. In fact, parents may want to act out due to their own anger, sadness and stress. In your situation, you may find yourself dealing with this in the form of parental alienation. This happens when the other parent tries to sabotage your relationship with your kids, thus compromising your role as a loving parent and your parental rights.
Warning signs in your child's behavior
There are a few warning signs that could indicate that the other parent is attempting to alienate your child from you. Some of the things to look for include rapid changes in your child's behavior and other signs you may notice when dealing with the other parent. These may include the following:
- Your child starts asking you not to attend important events, like sport matches or school plays.
- Your child is acting disrespectfully toward you during your visitation time.
- Your child does not want you to attend parent-teacher meetings at the school.
- Your child acts combatively toward you and argues with most of what you say.
- Your child behaves with a sense of entitlement.
- Your child acts like he or she can no longer remember positive bonding experiences you had in the past.
These are all signs that the other parent could be influencing your child's thinking about you. By planting negative thoughts, insulting you in front of the child, lying and acting in other manipulative ways, a child can begin to behave differently and make it difficult for you to be with him or her.
So what can you do?
One of the most important things you can do when experiencing parent alienation is to act immediately to stop the additional harm and repair damage. You can seek guidance from an experienced family law attorney to help you understand what your next steps should be and how you can fight for your parental rights. It may be possible to pursue remedies such as make-up parenting time, family counseling and more.