A dangerous pattern of parental alienation begins when one spouse starts to manipulate a child to turn against the other spouse. When such behavior is evident, it can have real implications for your pending divorce.
Toxic parental alienation is particularly relevant when settling matters of child custody during divorce proceedings. Beyond that, the aftereffects of abusive manipulation may become apparent in the child’s mental state and their relationship with both parents.
Child custody rulings
In the absence of a mutual agreement between parents, the court will determine child custody based on the child’s best interests. Researchers posit that parental alienation is a genuine form of child abuse, and a judge will likely take this into consideration when making a decision. Courts often favor a parent who prioritizes their child’s mental well-being even during a complex divorce.
An aggressive divorce can strain an already tenuous relationship between you and your ex-spouse, but the presence of parental alienation can also harm you, your child and the bond you share. A child that experiences emotional abuse may lose their trust in both parents and carry that burden for years to come. You might struggle to spend quality personal time with your child afterward, and it could take a great deal of effort to repair a fractured relationship as a result of manipulative behavior.
If you suspect that your spouse is guilty of parental manipulation, you may feel compelled to raise the point during divorce proceedings. A family law attorney can help build your case and advocate for your position on the matter.