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Recognizing and dealing with parental alienation

El Paso parents may want to be alert to signs of parental alienation after divorce. This may happen in any type of custody or visitation arrangement, and it involves one parent undermining the other by turning the child against the other parent. However, it can be subtle, and it may also happen gradually. For example, a parent might begin by trying to extend visitation times with claims that the child is sick or has too much studying to do.

The child's behavior might change abruptly, and this could include no longer wanting the targeted parent to come to school events and meetings. The child might refuse to recognize any positive experiences with the targeted parent and may use the same language to speak negatively of the parent that the ex-spouse uses. The child might become argumentative while denying that any of this behavior originates with the ex-spouse.

Parental alienation might be more likely to occur when one parent has a personality disorder. In response, parents need to be loving and consistent. They should also avoid making accusations about the other parent.

If parental alienation is happening during a contentious child custody battle, a judge will make note of a parent who is uncooperative, and that may count against the parent. A parent who is concerned about being targeted for parental alienation might want to discuss the situation with an attorney to get a sense of how to proceed. It may be best to document everything that happens. Parental alienation might be more difficult to prove than overt abuse, but it can still be harmful. The court is interested in acting in the best interest of the child, so if it is better for the child's well-being to have limited or supervised visitation with one parent, the judge may impose this.

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10514 Montwood Dr.
El Paso, TX 79935

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