The writer believes that litigious custodial disputes or access fights between separating parents is almost always a function of at least one of the parents having their own psychological issues. When both parents are mature, they should be able to place the children’s interests first and recognize that they both have to play important roles in the children’s lives.
One terrible example of a lack of parental maturity being visited upon the children is when one parent uses the child as a weapon against the other. Children can be very susceptible to being molded by a wounded parent. They can identify with one parent or another for many reasons or children can display a sense of moral outrage in the face of a parent who has left the marriage for another person.
Parental alienation can develop when one parent either overtly or covertly convinces children that the other parent is bad and spending any time with them is to be avoided. A loving parent can quickly find themselves on the outside of what was a strong parental bond. It is destructive when a child takes a strong position that they do not want to see the other parent. Often the offending parent will protest that they never interfered and indeed are attempting to encourage a relationship between child and estranged parent. In the face of such a position (often being taken by a young teenager), there can be serious difficulties in attempting to have the court impose a solution to this most insidious of child and parent problems. We are not talking about a parent who has been cruel or has ill-treated a child, but rather a parent who is blameless in their capacity as parent. They may be guilty of no other sin than not being the primary custodial parent. Good luck to the parent who has decided to leave the marriage even with good reason to live with another person.
There are a limited number of therapists who specialize in remedying parental alienation. Dale Streiman Law LLP has been successful in the face of such parental alienation in getting the court to exercise the ultimate remedy, which is to reverse custody and to cut off any contact between the offending parent and the alienated child. Such efforts require great skill, expertise, martialing of competent outside experts and unfortunately significant financial and emotional effort by the wronged parent.
The courts are very attuned to the importance of an ongoing relationship between both parents and child and that it is detrimental to the child’s healthy upbringing should one parent be frozen out.
One must tread very carefully when your marriage is coming to an end and more often than not, the strong advice that the author gives to his clients is to put any other adult relationship on hold until the dust has settled and a significant time has elapsed for all concerned to become adjusted to the new reality. The law in no way discourages or on its face takes into account fidelity or its absence. However, we all live in a real world filled with emotions and motivations that are not always in everyone’s best interests either financially or emotionally.
It is sage advice that before any steps are taken, to consult with one of the experienced family lawyers at Dale Streiman Law LLP before taking that first step.