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Parental Alienation: Bad-Mouthing Your Ex to Your Kids Can Have Serious Consequences

The Law Offices of Ian S. Mednick, P.C. > Divorce  > Parental Alienation: Bad-Mouthing Your Ex to Your Kids Can Have Serious Consequences

Parental Alienation: Bad-Mouthing Your Ex to Your Kids Can Have Serious Consequences

parental alienation long island

When a marriage dissolves, it is only the relationship between the ex-spouses that ends, not the relationship between children and their parents. Unfortunately, some divorced parents hold grudges and take pains to make their ex-spouse look bad to their children.

This type of behavior is called parental alienation. It often happens to couples coming off an unpleasant divorce. They are more likely to denigrate or disparage an ex-spouse with the intent of damaging the latter’s relationship with the children. They might even prevent the children from seeing or communicating with their ex.

Courts do not take parental alienation lightly. In fact, it may take steps to ensure that the guilty parent will be held accountable for his or her actions.

If you feel that your ex-spouse is alienating you from your kids, we recommend that you get in touch with our Long Island divorce attorney immediately. The Law Offices of Ian S. Mednick, P.C.  has handled parental alienation cases before and can advise you on how to proceed with your case.

The Psychological Effects of Denigration on Children

Family courts are watchful of parental alienation because it is a form of psychological manipulation. Child psychology experts even classify it as emotional abuse.

This behavior is pervasive; an alienating parent is likely to keep talking ill about his or her ex repeatedly and in the presence of the child. If successful, an alienating parent will have deprived a child of the right to have a loving and nurturing relationship with his or her parents. A denial of that right is a form of abuse.

Children who experience alienating behaviors from one or both parents are candidates for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and psychosomatic disorders. They may develop low self-esteem, but can also show aggressiveness and lack of empathy towards others.

The goal of an alienating parent is to make his or her children develop hatred towards his or her ex. This selfish act is most often done on purpose, even if the guilty party denies it. Such behavior breeds an unhealthy environment for children.

What can alienated parents do about the situation? After gathering sufficient evidence of the abuse, they can request for a modification of child custody arrangements.

Reversal of Primary Custody Ruling

A parent who’s guilty of alienation is most likely guilty of violating visitation and custody agreements, as well. Examples of these violations are a refusal to share information about the children’s school activities and performances; not allowing the spouse to see the children on his or her court-mandated visitation days, and screening calls, texts, and other forms of communication between the children and the ex.

Judges make rulings based on the child’s best interest. If the court finds that there’s enough evidence proving parental alienation and violation of visitation agreements, it could modify custody arrangements in favor of the alienated parent. In some cases, it may even give him or her full custody of the child.