preventing parental alienation

Preventing Parental Alienation: Part I


 preventing parental alienation

Parental alienation is when one parent attempts to sabotage or undermine their child’s relationship with the child’s other parent. This can happen through a variety of tactics, including psychological manipulation and gaslighting.

Parental alienation is a form of child abuse, and may cause irreparable harm to your relationship with a child. It’s important to watch for signs of parental alienation and take steps to prevent it from occurring in the first place.  Here are five keys to help prevent this from happening to you:

  1. Be the best parent you can be! The best defense against parental alienation is a good relationship with your son or daughter. If your relationship is strong, it will be much harder for parental alienation to occur.
  2. Express your feelings of love. Saying “I love you” doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but it’s an important thing to do. Make a point to tell your children you love them every time you see them or speak to them on the telephone.
  3. Follow the advice of your attorney, and obey all orders from the judge. You have limited experience with the divorce process, hopefully you have chosen an experienced attorney who has seen this process countless times. Wisdom comes from experience, so heed the words of your legal counsel. Obey all orders from the judge- the courts don’t look kindly on parents who choose to disobey orders. If necessary, talk with your attorney about your options for seeking a modification on any current orders that have been issued in your case.
  4. Be someone your children can count on. Are you someone who shows up when you say you will? Can your children really and truly count on you? Are you there on time to pick them up after school and/or for your scheduled visitation times? Are you there at soccer practices, school plays, or other important events in your child’s life? If you tell them you plan to do something, buy something, or go somewhere with them, do you always follow through? If you are a POSITIVE and DEPENDABLE figure in your child’s life, it will be difficult for someone else to sabotage your relationship with them.
  5. Be persistent when necessary. If your phone calls, voice mails, or other contact efforts towards your children are not being acknowledged and you fear they may been intercepted by your estranged spouse, continue to make efforts at contacting your children. However, you must also document your efforts at contacting your children and discuss your concerns with your attorney!

What should I do if I believe my ex-spouse may be trying to alienate our children from me?

It is imperative that you seek legal counsel. You can also call our firm, which is very experienced in handling divorce cases where parental alienation (or accusations thereof) have occurred. John A. Bledsoe is Orange County’s premier divorce attorney and a certified family law specialist. Our firm offers a confidential initial case evaluation. Call (949) 363-5551 to learn more.

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