When parents divorce, they may find their issues with each other do not resolve immediately simply because the divorce is final. The hard feelings that exist between them may actually cause problems in their custody and visitation arrangement, especially if one parent wants to harm the other parent’s relationship with his or her kids. This is parental alienation, and it is a serious post-divorce issue.
The children in the middle
When parents are at odds, the kids will feel like they are caught in the middle. One parent may attempt to manipulate how the kids feel about his or her other parent by using various different behaviors. This could include implanting negative ideas about the other parent, telling lies about him or her and more. Over time, the kids may begin to think and feel differently about the parent, and they may not want to spend time with him or her anymore.
In many cases, parental alienation is subtle. The kids and other parent may not even know it’s happening. Other ways it can happen may include refusing to include the other parent in important events for the kids, such as sports games or school plays. The alienating parent may also refuse to return the kids on time or adhere to other requirements in the parenting plan.
Fighting for parental rights
A North Carolina parent who believes he or she is a victim of parental alienation does not have to stay silent. It may be helpful for someone experiencing this to speak with a family law attorney about their rights. Parents can fight for their role in the lives of their kids, and it may be possible to hold the other parent accountable for his or her actions.