Post-divorce focus: sabotaging parenting-time and other rights

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Monday, May 11, 2015.

An online overview of an important yet seldom addressed family law topic refers to an “ideal world” in which post-divorce friction between ex-spouses is essentially contained, with resulting salutary effects visited on the children created through their marriage.

Although that world does in fact exist for some families, of course, it is far from being the reality for others. It is simply the case in some instances that much of the discord that existed during marriage endures following marital dissolution, with children suffering adverse effects that flow from parental animosities.

The above-cited article discusses the dual topics of parenting time interference and parental alienation syndrome, which spell aberrational departures from parenting plans that result in healthy outcomes for parents and children in a divorced family.

When one parent — often a custodial parent — seeks to sabotage a loving and respectful relationship between a child and the other parent, pernicious outcomes can result that can permanently destroy the positive bonds between a noncustodial parent and his or her child.

Parental time interference is exactly what it sounds like, namely, one parent’s attempt to manipulate or disrupt a parenting plan so that the time the other parent gets to spend with a child is minimized or simply disappears. A variety of ploys can effect that aim, such as failing to honor a visitation schedule or summarily moving with a child without first obtaining court approval.

Parental alienation is a mindset inculcated in a child by purposeful behavior on the part of one parent that seeks to denigrate the other parent in the eyes of that child. Lies might be told about a parent, character flaws might be alleged that frighten a child and, in worst-case scenarios, physical, sexual and other forms of violence might be insinuated.

There is a clear difference between a parent occasionally uttering a negative remark about an ex-spouse in front of a child and that parent systematically engaging in the types of behaviors that bring about parental alienation and parenting time interference.

A proven family law attorney with experience in custody matters can respond to concerns regarding interference and alienation and help a parent safeguard his or her negotiated-for parenting rights.

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