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What can you do about suspected parental alienation?

On Behalf of | Apr 7, 2023 | Arlington Family Law Blog |

Even though your divorce has long concluded, your ex-spouse still seems to resent you. Still, the two of you must co-parent your children. If your former husband or wife tries to sabotage the positive relationships you have with your kids, both you and your children may be victims of parental alienation.

According to Psychology Today, parental alienation is a form of emotional child abuse that occurs when one parent undercuts the other. For example, your ex might badmouth you or tell your kids you are a bad, untrustworthy or dangerous person. Luckily, if you suspect your former spouse is engaging in parental alienation, you have some options.

Discuss the issue with your co-parent

Even under ideal circumstances, co-parenting can be challenging. If your ex-spouse does not realize he or she is alienating your children, discussing the matter with him or her can be helpful. Indeed, you might be able to establish some rules to safeguard your parent-child relationships.

Go to family mediation

If your co-parent is unwilling or incapable of listening to your concerns, you might need the assistance of a neutral third-party mediator. A mediator can help you and your ex-spouse reach a consensus about many child-related issues, including forming a plan for curtailing parental alienation.

Take legal action

Because parental alienation is detrimental to children, judges in the Old Dominion tend to frown upon it. Consequently, if you cannot make headway on your own, it may be necessary to take legal action. That is, you may need to ask a court to reexamine your existing custody arrangement.

Ultimately, rather than taking a wait-and-see approach or hoping parental alienation stops on its own, it is critical to be proactive.


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