Parental alienation has become a hot topic in courtrooms around Ohio in recent years. This conduct occurs when one parent tries to poison the other parent’s relationship with his or her kids. While parental alienation can occur in any family, it is a common issue in post-divorce ones.
There are a few different ways that a co-parent may engage in parental alienation. For example, he or she may tell your kids negative things about you. Alternatively, your ex-spouse may actively prevent your children from seeing or communicating with you. Even worse, you may have to deal with unfounded allegations about criminal activity, child abuse, neglect or drug use.
Parental alienation and child custody
In Ohio, parental alienation is relevant in child custody matters. When settling custody disputes, judges must consider the best interests of the children. If a co-parent is either intentionally or inadvertently attempting to undercut your relationship with your kids, his or her behavior is likely not in the children’s best interests.
Parental alienation and child well-being
While alienating behavior may affect a custody case, you have bigger concerns. Specifically, parental alienation can harm any child’s emotional well-being. In fact, researchers have found that alienated children often develop low self-esteem and trust issues. Parental alienation may also encourage the young ones in your family to abuse drugs or alcohol later in life.
Your legal options
As a caring parent, you do not want to risk the overall well-being of your children. If you suspect that your ex-spouse is trying to turn your kids against you, you have some options. First, you should check your existing parenting plan or custody agreement to see if your former partner is violating it. If you do not have a court order, you may remedy the situation through mediation, negotiation or even litigation.
You cannot stand idly by while your ex-spouse destroys the treasured relationship you have with your children. By understanding how parental alienation affects both child custody and the emotional health of your kids, you can plan for addressing it positively.