The Shadow of Parental Alienation in Child Custody
In the realm of negative events that can appear in our lives, divorce ranks high in its quotient of emotional stress, heartache, financial worries, and even physical issues. Unfortunately, many divorces are high in conflict, with children in the midst of it all. In some cases, one parent makes intentional efforts to turn the kids against the other parent. This, of course, invites an array of additional torment to the situation and can weigh heavily on the family’s future relationship.
Simply defined, parental alienation is one parent refusing the other access to their children, most often out of spite or a selfish method of punishment. As is most commonly the case in divorce, children are caught in the middle and some may gravitate toward one parent and reject the other. It is no surprise, then, that many people see parental alienation as emotional child abuse but regardless of personal viewpoints, there are resources available to ensure alienated Michigan parents receive equal and fair access to their children.
Couples don’t typically part ways on amicable terms and child custody battles inevitably enter the fray. What many people tend to forget is the final decision on custody and/or visitation does not lie with only one of the parents; in fact, a judge is most often the person with final say. As difficult as it might be to relinquish decision-making “control” to someone else, it is usually in the best interest of the children.
Selfish Motives Only Hurt the Children
Alienation in its stand-alone definition is bad enough, but alienating your spouse in the heat of divorce carries far more dire consequences than custody issues. Consider Lisa, a ten-year-old girl sitting alone in her room, knowing she won’t see her mom again tonight. Lisa doesn’t understand adult behavior and she likely feels that her mom doesn’t care for her because she’s not around much.
Indeed, it is a profound psychological blow to be raised in this type of environment and this is not at all a new hardship. Overwhelming mental and emotional challenges have been medically recognized for more than six decades but recently also included in cases of mental disorders. This is tremendously sad for children, many of which are relegated as pawns in volatile custody battles.
As the Child Goes, So Goes the Custody Dispute
Ultimately, the well-being of children is typically the main focus in divorce proceedings. Whatever the outcome in regard to the parents, Michigan courts will push to avoid damaging long-term effects on children and ensure them a healthy environment.
Judges take a harsh stance against parents instigating alienation and while on the surface this appears a positive thing, it sometimes adds fuel to the fire and triggers very long and expensive court cases. Key indicators to look for before this happens are a child’s resentment of the other parent, refusing to associate with the other parent, and denial.
If you are involved in parental alienation, it is important to work with a team that will provide the support you need. Contact the experts at The Gucciardo Law Firm today at 248-723-5190.
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