Even though divorce can be difficult for children to handle, shared parenting is often one of the more effective ways to help kids manage life after the end of their parents’ marriages. In fact, a recent study found that children who spend at least 35% of their time with each parent tend to have better interpersonal relationships and greater academic achievement.
If you and your ex-spouse negotiated a shared custody arrangement during your divorce, you expect your ex to live up to his or her end of the bargain. Regrettably, though, your ex-husband or -wife may be actively trying to turn your kids against you.
According to many child psychologists, parental alienation constitutes emotional abuse. If your ex-spouse has a practice of doing any of the following, you may be the target of intentional or inadvertent parental alienation:
- Telling your kids you are a bad person or an unfit parent
- Asking your children to dislike, distrust or disobey you
- Requiring your kids to avoid contact with you
- Encouraging your child to spy on you
When making custody determinations, judges in Minnesota must consider the best interests of the children. While many factors determine what is best for your kids, parental alienation certainly is not good for them or for you. Accordingly, if you have evidence of parental alienation, you may be able to ask a judge to modify your existing custody arrangement.
Ultimately, because parental alienation may forever destroy the good relationships you have with your children, you may need to act promptly to stop your ex-spouse’s alienating behaviors.