When an attorney talks about winning custody in the context of a family law case, they could be referencing several different subjects related to this topic. Today in our blog post, we'll talk about many other issues about winning a child custody case. All of those subjects will fall under the general heading of how parental alienation can impact and harm your child's efforts to become the primary conservator. This is a sad subject that affects your relationship with your kids and your relationship with your co-parent.
I think the tendency in many family law cases is for the two parents to win favor with the court and their children. One of the ways that parents attempt to win favor with their children Is to tear down the other parent by trying to alienate their children from their co-parents. Even if a co-parent is successful in alienating the kids from the other parent, the long-term impacts of that behavior can be harmful to both a parent-child relationship and the parent-parent relationship.
What is parental alienation?
I realized that the topic of parental alienation might not be one that many of you are familiar with. I know that our law office has written blogs on this subject before, but I guess the total number of parental alienation blogs would pale compared to the number of child custody or divorce blogs. Parental alienation is a subject that comes up both in divorce cases and child custody cases. It can be a topic that is right at the surface of a claim, simmering to the top, or it can be an issue that has been a problem for your family for many years but does not get the attention That other matters related to your family do.
Whatever its place within the context of your family, parental alienation takes up it is a subject that merits mentioning, in my opinion. The reason I believe this is because no matter if it has been an issue in your lives thus far, it can become a problem for you and your family during a child custody or divorce case. When the stakes are high, as they often are in child custody and divorce cases, you shouldn't be surprised to find out that parents are willing to go to extreme measures to accomplish whatever goals they have for themselves in that case.
Therefore, if you and your opposing parent are both attempting to be named the primary conservator of your child, either in a divorce or a child custody case, then parental alienation May either continue to be an issue in your case or may begin to be an issue as your case begins. With all of that said, I wanted to do my best to define the term as to what parental alienation means and what impact it can have on your case.
In the simplest terms, I can think of; parental alienation. It involves a situation where your opposing parent attempts to win favor with your children by doing their best 2 harm your relationship with your kids. Typically speaking, this is done verbally by relatively small gestures. For example, an opposing parent could talk poorly about you in front of the kids when you are not around. I don't care what sort of relationship you have with your kids; a young child's mind can only withstand so much negative talk about a parent before they start to believe that negative talk.
For this reason, many final decrees of divorce for last orders in child custody cases will demand that parents not speak about the other parent or their family when the children are with them. Courts have observed and understand that parental alienation frequently occurs in families, and it can severely harm the relationship between separated families in significant ways. If you go through any court orders you have, you may be surprised to find that such a provision exists in your demands.
Additionally, parental alienation can occur in more subtle ways. For example, if your ex-spouse tends to arrive a few minutes late to pick up the kids for weekend visitation due to a long-distance drive they have to make to be there for the children, A comment from you that their other parent must not care too much about your children due to their constant delay could be interpreted as parental alienation. Little words like this, told your kids just at the right time in the right circumstances, could lead to separation and disruption to that parent-child relationship.
The tricky thing about parental alienation is that it can occur very quickly, even if we are not aware that we are engaging in that kind of behavior. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it would be relatively easy for you to say things about your co-parent, which you do not necessarily mean. Or, you may think certain things about your co-parent and then let your true feelings show on occasion. It is not always appropriate for you to share your thoughts and emotions with your children concerning your ex-spouse. Doing so may leave your children with questions about the nature of your relationship with them. Remember that children are not mentally or emotionally capable of processing the information as an adult would. Therefore, you should consider your co-parent in deciding what to speak to your children regarding your relationship with them.
How can parental alienation make it difficult for you to be in the primary custody of your children?
Now that we have established what parental alienation is and how it may impact your relationship with your children, we can get into the subject of our blog post today. Namely, what is it about parental alienation that can make your goal of winning primary custody of your kids a difficult one to achieve? Many circumstances play into whether or not you will become a primary conservator hope your children are within a family law case. What is so special about parental alienation That I can significantly impact the outcome of your case?
Well, as we have already seen, parental alienation is one of those issues within a family law case that can occur subtly In without anyone noticing the extent of the problem. You can think of parental alienation as an invisible gas that sifts through your home. Nobody can see it, and it is only detectable in most circumstances if you are attuned to what your children say and what you experience with them. Otherwise, the fact that you and your opposing parent do not live together does provide ample opportunity for alienating behavior to occur.
Let's take a circumstance where you are a father attempting to modify your final decree of divorce so that you would become the primary conservator of your son. This is a goal that you have had for yourself since the end of your divorce, and you believe that you are in a position to request this modification. After successfully filing your modification lawsuit, you began noticing that your son Was not as excited to see you achieve hesitant to engage with you when you all were together. Understandably, you became concerned it began to wonder what was going on.
Remember that the basis of a child custody case is to do what is in the best interest of your child. By alienating your child from you, their other parent can Big into poke holes in your theory that your child is better suited to live with you on a full-time basis. Many times, especially with older children, a parent will file a motion with the judge requesting that their child meets with the judge to discuss their preference as to where they will be living full time after the conclusion of the child custody case.
The judge will indeed look to more than just the child's opinion when determining the issue of primary custody within a divorce or child custody case. Many factors are essential in this sort of case. However, an older child's preference does weigh in two the decision-making process of a judge. It would help if you were mindful of this and attempt to address any instances of parental alienation that you come across immediately rather than let them fester and become more significant.
How can you work on eliminating any alienating behavior from your daily life?
The trouble with engaging in parental alienation is that it can be a hard habit to break once he starts to do it. You may find yourself making comments about your opposing parent without your even realizing it. If it has become second nature to you to criticize, guess, and belittle your co-parent before your children, you need to become aware of what you say and become more intentional about the words you choose to use.
Once you decide to choose your words carefully, you will have done most of the work that you need to eliminate alienating behavior and show me your daily life. From my experience, if one parent begins to engage in alienating conversation or behavior, then the other parent is also likely to do so. For the most part, parents want their Co-parents to treat them fairly and allow their children to have an equally strong relationship with both parents. Once one of you decides to violate that trust, anything goes as far as to feature alienating behavior.
One other thing that I would point out is that if you feel the need to belittle constantly, critique or second guess the actions of your co-parent, then you may have a problem where you should talk to a professional about it. It is not appropriate for you to, in essence, have many counseling sessions where your children act as a counselor for you. Suppose you have trouble dealing with your family law case with any problems you have experienced. In that case, there are many people available in our area to talk to you about those problems. Not only are these folks better suited to speak with you about your issues than your children are, but these professionals can also help you achieve goals and think of solutions to help you avoid alienating behavior in the future.
Overall, I can tell you that even if parental alienation is not a topic discussed much in the world of family law, it is still a significant subject for you to be aware of. Once you and your Co-parent begin to engage in this kind of behavior, it can be challenging to identify and stop. Parental alienation could harm both of you in the future if you ever attempt to come back to court and try to win Primary custody of your children. It is best to never engage in the behavior in the first place so that you and your family can live well together, even if you are living separately.
Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions about the material contained in today's blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video; we hope that the information shared with you today in this blog post has been helpful, and we look forward to sharing additional tidbits regarding family law in Texas and blog posts to come.
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The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding child custody, it's essential to speak with one of our Houston, TX, child custody lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our child custody lawyers in Houston, TX, are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, handles child custody cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.
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