Even when it is the best possible decision to make, divorce is not always an easy process, especially for parents. While some divorced couples continue to cooperate in the best interests of their child, not every parent is so lucky. Unfortunately, some California parents even go to drastic measures to wrongly influence the outcome of child custody agreements.
Parental alienation is a serious concern during especially heated battles for custody. This term refers to when one parent forces a child to turn against their other parent without any solid reasoning as to why. In drastic cases, a parent might even accuse an ex of abusing their child while also trying to convince the child that some sort of abuse transpired. One sign that indicates parental alienation is occurring is a child’s sudden and unexplained withdrawal from a parent and his or her entire side of the family.
The idea of parental alienation is not necessarily accepted in the medical community. An expert in psychiatry noted that while it can certainly be harmful for children to repeatedly hear one parent talking ill of the other, the actual term parental alienation might be best used sparingly. He attributes this line of thinking to profound impact that it can have on the life of a child.
There is little denying the emotions that most California parents must face while working on child custody agreements. It can be difficult to transition from living with a child full time to only seeing them on certain days, but parents must still keep the focus on what is best for their child rather than for themselves. A significant number of divorcing parents are able to accomplish this through either mutual negotiations or with mediation, but those who are unable to do so have the option of proceeding to family law court, where a judge will issue a final ruling on the matter.
Source: abcnews.com, “Are Some Divorcing Parents Brainwashing Their Children?“, April 8, 2016