How to Avoid Alienating a Parent During Divorce
Parental alienation is a severe side effect of divorce, one that often occurs as a result of one parent attempting to brainwash their children into having negative feelings toward the other. Some level of parental alienation occurs in up to 15 percent of divorces. However, it is crucial for children to be able to emerge from the divorce process with strong relationships intact with both their parents.
It is up to both parents to work together to prevent this alienation from occurring, regardless of how they feel about one another. The following are a few tips to help:
- Never talk negatively about each other in front of the kids: Even if you are not actively trying to damage your children’s relationships with the other parent, badmouthing that person in front of your kids can still have that effect. Watch what you say in front of your kids and be fair to your former spouse.
- Seek out counseling: Counseling is not just beneficial for individuals who are hoping to save their relationship — it’s also good for those who know they are going to get divorced, but still need to co-parent effectively. It will help you develop good communication strategies to maintain a healthy parental relationship, which will in turn prevent parental alienation.
- Maintain records: It can be a good idea to keep communications with your former spouse in writing, such as via email or text, so that you can keep a record and maintain evidence that you have attempted to remain as amicable as possible.
- Ensure your kids treat your former spouse with respect: Not only should you avoid saying anything negative about your former spouse, but you should also not tolerate your children either speaking poorly about or behaving poorly for your former spouse. You may no longer be married, but you’re still a team when it comes to parenting your kids.
For further guidance on co-parenting and child custody matters, contact an experienced divorce lawyer with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.