Divorce is harder when you have children. There are more logistics to resolve and more issues for you and your ex to disagree about, including how you share parenting responsibilities. Even when both parents are on their best behavior, shared custody can be a challenge.
Unfortunately, some parents put their own vindictive nature ahead of what is best for the children. They will engage in parental alienation, which is an intentional effort to disrupt the relationship between their co-parent and their children.
What does parental alienation usually involve?
Emotional manipulation of the children
Trying to influence the way the children see the other parent is a cornerstone of parental alienation. Complaining about the other parent, telling the children too much about why a couple divorced or outright lying are ways that one parent could turn the children against the other.
If your children start making accusations against you that seem unfounded or refusing to spend time with you, your ex might be the reason why.
Refusing scheduled parenting time
Although the emotional manipulation often involved in parental alienation is painful, the custodial interference can be even worse. Your ex may waste your time and money by letting you drive across town to pick up your children, only to refuse to let them leave when you arrive. They might consistently cancel with you or schedule doctor’s appointments and other activities during your parenting time.
If your ex has begun to interfere in your relationship with your children, keeping records of their actions can help. Showing the court documentation of parental alienation could lead to changes to your custody arrangement.