No matter how heated a disagreement becomes between divorcing or separating parents, there are some lines that no mother or father should cross. Parental alienation is one such line.
Parental alienation occurs when one parent tries to sabotage the relationship their child has with the other parent. This sabotage can take many forms, including:
- Saying bad things about the parent in front of the child
- Telling lies about the other parent
- Telling the child the divorce is entirely the fault of the other parent
- Coercing the child to skip out on visitation time with the other parent
- Telling the child they have the option to not spend time with the other parent
Parental alienation is not only toxic, but also very short-sighted. Parents who engage in such destructive tactics risk affecting their child for life, all for the short-term satisfaction of hurting their ex. In a report published in Psychiatric Times, experts in child development find that children who are subjected to such alienating tactics can suffer problems ranging from depression to chemical abuse. This damage, inflicted during a heated custody dispute, can last a lifetime.
The law in Louisiana is clear. In any legal matter involving a minor child, the overriding concern is protecting that child’s best interests. Parental alienation does not protect a child’s interests—it places them in peril.
When a parent’s behavior threatens not only your well-being, but also your child’s, it is worth doing everything in your power to fight back. If your ex is engaging in such tactics, you should explore every legal option at your disposal. Family court judges do not look favorably upon such behavior. Know that the law is on your side and that help for you and your child is within reach.