Even under ideal circumstances, parenting can be tough. After all, you want to raise happy, healthy and well-adjusted kids. If you are parenting in a post-divorce family, though, you are likely to face additional challenges. Dealing with an alienating spouse may be one of them.
Parental alienation occurs when one parent tries to turn the children against the other parent. Many child psychologists consider this behavior to be a form of family violence. Fortunately, you do not have to stand idly by and watch your ex-spouse emotionally harm your children. Instead, you may be able to use parental alienation as grounds to modify a custody order.
Understanding parental alienation
There really is no such thing as standard parental alienation. On the contrary, it often takes varying forms, with each being equally harmful to your relationship with your kids. Here are a few examples, though:
- Your ex-spouse makes disparaging comments about you to your children.
- Your former partner falsely accuses you of abusing the kids.
- Your children’s other parent makes them feel guilty for wanting to see you.
- Your ex-partner interferes with your visitation or other rights.
Modifying a child custody order
Florida court dockets do not have much free space. As such, judges usually prefer that parents not seek custody order modifications for frivolous reasons. In the Sunshine State, though, you may request a modification if there is a material change in circumstances. Fortunately, parental alienation usually represents such a change. Furthermore, because this type of emotional abuse is likely to cause long-term harm to the children, Florida courts are apt to act quickly to reassess custody if either parent alleges parental alienation.
In your post-divorce family, you have enough to think about without having to worry about your former spouse actively working to undermine you. If you believe that your ex-spouse is trying to alienate your kids, you must act quickly both to protect your legal rights and to repair the emotional damage.