How to Know If You’re a Victim of Parental Alienation
As if child custody cases in Texas aren’t complicated enough, parental alienation adds another layer of complexity that can go as far as to influence the final custody verdict.
Under Texas family law, the court, which always acts in the best interest of the child, will generally agree that both parents should be equally involved in their child’s life. But because parents are naturally protective of their children, it is not uncommon for them to go toe-to-toe with each other and seek sole custody of the kids.
Sometimes, parents are motivated to do this because they sincerely believe having custody is what is best for the child. Other times, parents will fight each other out of spite over the separation, or fear that their ex-spouse will cut them out of the child’s life forever.
This is where parental alienation often occurs, something that often requires the assistance of a competent Austin family law attorney.What is Parental Alienation in Texas?
Parental alienation refers to the practice of manipulating a child to have a negative view and relationship with the other parent. By vilifying and demeaning a parent in front of a child, it can cause him or her to share those feelings and strain the relationship between the other parent and the child.
Sometimes, the parent does this unintentionally, not meaning to expose their child to all that negativity. Other times, however, the parent will do this in an attempt to bring the child over to their side, often under the notion that this will help in the child custody case.What are the Signs of Parental Alienation?
If your Texas divorce contentious, so much so that that it has resulted in a bitter child custody battle, do not discount the possibility of parental alienation happening to you. Here are some signs that your ex-spouse is alienating you from your child.
- Your child suddenly acts and talks in a disrespectful manner, especially when around the other parent;
- Your child suddenly stops communicating with you in the middle of the divorce proceedings;
- Your child refuses to spend any time with you;
- Your child destroys gifts, mail, or other items you gave them;
- Your child refuses to hear anything bad/negative about the other parent;
- Your child is also disrespectful to your extended family.
If you suspect that you are a victim of parent alienation in the middle of a child custody case, talk to Austin family law attorney Daniella Lyttle to take the appropriate action.How to Fight Parental Alienation
Interestingly enough, when the court recognizes one parent’s attempts to alienate the other, it may see this as harmful to the child’s well-being and award custody to the maligned parent. Of course, there are cases when the court fails to recognize that parent alienation is happening, allowing the alienating parent to get away with his or her smear campaign.
This is where an Austin family law attorney comes in, helping you fight back by taking these measures:
- Call in mental health experts to assess the psychological condition of your child and your relationship with him or here;
- Seek custody modification to move the child to a neutral environment;
- Seek custody arrangements that let you stay in contact with your child despite his or refusal to see you;
- Request the court to order therapeutic intervention;
- Seek the appointment of a family or parental coordinator.
If you think your ex-spouse is alienating you from your child, talk to the legal team of the Lyttle Law Firm to discuss your options. Get in touch with family law attorney Daniella Lyttle by calling our offices at (512) 215-5225 or by using our contact form.