Parental Alienation: What It Is And How It Interferes With Child Custody In Tampa
When parents are divorced or otherwise living apart, the court generally encourages time-sharing arrangements. However, in order for these plans to work, parents must put the child’s best interests first and be willing to work together. Unfortunately, this can prove impossible in some cases.
Parental alienation is when one parent attempts to turn the child against the other. It is a common problem that interferes with child custody in Tampa. Find out more about how it happens and what you can do to prevent it.
Parental Alienation A Form Of Emotional Abuse
Parents are often required to work together in implementing child custody arrangements in Tampa. While they may have hard feelings towards the other party, they are expected to put these aside for the sake of the child. When they do not, parental alienation can occur.
The National Council of State Courts states that parental alienation involves intentional efforts on the part of one parent to turn the child against the other. They classify it as a form of emotional abuse, as it can cause devastating harm to the child and has the potential to impact their self-esteem and relationships with others for years to come. Examples of parental alienation include:
- Making consistently negative comments about the other parent to the child;
- Telling the child the other parent is responsible for their break-up or other problems in their life;
- Telling them the other parent does not love them;
- Interfering with communications between the other parent and the child;
- Prohibiting the child from seeing the other parent at appointed times;
- Blaming the other parent for anything negative that happens;
- Making the child choose between the parents.
Protecting Your Child And Your Rights In Cases of Parental Alienation
Parental alienation can be subtle. The other parent is likely to hide their behavior from you. Warning signs that it is happening include feelings of coldness from your child, disrespecting you, refusing to visit, and blaming you for everything.
Being treated in this manner and seeing your relationship with your child deteriorate as a result is heartbreaking. It is important to take action as soon as you suspect parental alienation is occurring, both for your own sake as well as for the well-being of the child.
Under the Florida Statutes, parental alienation can justify restricting the other parent’s rights or even preventing them from seeing the child at all. Steps you can take to protect yourself in this situation:
- Continue to follow the parenting plan;
- Document any disrespect from the child;
- Attempt to discuss the matter with the other parent and document their response;
- Contact our Tampa child custody lawyer;
- Get your child therapy to overcome the abuse and repair your relationship.
Request A Consultation With Our Tampa Child Custody Lawyer
Parental alienation is a form of child abuse. If you suspect it is happening, reach out to Bubley & Bubley, P.A. right away. Call or contact our Tampa child custody lawyer online and request a consultation today.