When Virginia parents go through a divorce, their priority is caring for the well-being of the kids. One way many families do this is by having a strong and carefully crafted joint custody or co-parenting agreement in place. Unfortunately, one parent who is hurt or angry at the other can attempt to undermine the custody and visitation plan, as well as cause irreparable damage to the kids’ relationship with the other parent through alienation.
What is parental alienation?
Parental alienation is a direct attempt by the other parent to intentionally harm the kids’ relationship with their mom or dad. This can be done subtly, and the kids may not even know it’s happening. This can include talking badly about the other parent, undermining his or her authority over the kids or saying false things in front of the kids. Over time, the kids may begin to change how they feel and think about their own mom or dad.
Parental alienation can sometimes be more overt and obvious. Some of the ways this can happen is by refusing to allow the parent to participate in certain things, such as attending sports events. The alienating parent may also refuse to allow the kids to communicate with the other parent or refuse to stick to the visitation schedule.
What can a parent do?
If a Virginia parent believes he or she is experiencing parental alienation, taking action is crucial. That parent has the right to seek the guidance of a family law attorney who can provide guidance regarding how to fight back and protect parental rights. With appropriate counsel and the right counsel, it is possible to preserve the critical parent-child relationship.