Divorce is hard on everybody, but especially the children. Usually, the spouses both do their best to reassure the kids that both parents still love them very much and will continue to do so even though they are not married anymore. This reduces the trauma and helps children adjust to the new family arrangement.
Unfortunately, some Naperville parents are not so loving and considerate of their children’s emotional and psychological best interests. Instead, they turn child custody negotiations into a weapon to “get back” at their ex. They even manipulate their children into believing their other parent does not love them or is a bad person who broke up the family. Eventually, the child turns against the other parent, claiming they don’t want to see them and refusing parenting time transfers. This is called parental alienation syndrome. It can be very painful for the parent and harmful to the child in the long run.
What you can do about parental alienation
Fortunately, there are things you can do to counteract your ex’s attempts to turn your child against you. Family therapy can help the affected parent and child rebuild trust and affection, as can time spent together. This is especially important in severe cases where the child refuses all contact and expresses anger at the affected parent for no good reason, like abuse or neglect. A long weekend together can help the child see that what their other parent has been telling them is not true. It is also important for the affected parent to pause contact with the alienating parent for a time.
Reaching the right arrangement for your children
Parental alienation is fortunately fairly rare, but as a parent going through divorce, you must be prepared for anything. This starts with finding the right divorce attorney for you. An experienced and caring divorce lawyer will seek ways to make the process as fair and painless to you and your children as possible.