Raising and parenting children should be one of the most joyous and exciting times of your life. However, if you are having to split time and share your child with an ex-partner, events surrounding your child can become emotional and contentious. These emotions can become even more heightened if you are experiencing parental alienation. Parental alienation is a tactic employed by a parent to intentionally turn a child against the other parent. If you feel that your partner is attempting to turn your child against you in this manner, talk with your Orlando Child Custody Attorney to ensure that your parental rights are being protected.
Parental alienation was first introduced by Dr. Richard Gardner nearly 40 years ago. Parental alienation was seen by Gardner as a form of emotional manipulation to create a distance between the child and other parent. Alienation can occur in many different forms. For instance, if a parent causes a child to feel guilty for spending time with the other parent, a parent’s disparaging remarks about the other parent in front of the child, using a child to communicate negative messages, telling the child the parent does not wish to see them, unfounded abuse allegations, and denying access or communication to the child are only some examples. These tactics will harm your relationship with your child and are not in your child’s best interests. With such harmful activities bound to negatively affect your child, the court has power to intervene in such matters.
If you feel as though you may be experiencing parental alienation, bring this to the attention of an Orlando Child Custody Attorney, you may be able to petition the court for a modification of your existing parenting plan. In order to obtain a modification, there must be a substantial change in circumstances. The court has found evidence where parental alienation has existed to be a substantial change in circumstances warranting a modification of a plan. However, it is important to note mere allegations or threats of parental alienation are not enough to warrant a modification and court intervention. Sanchez v. Hernandez 45 So. 3d 57 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2010). In the case of Wade v. Hirshman, the court found the mother to be intentionally alienating the child from the father. Mother would directly be noncompliant with the time sharing schedule and refused to inform the father of decisions involving the child. The court ultimately removed the child from the custody of the mother, noting it was in the best interest of the child. However, this was an extreme example of parental alienation and action by the court. Not all cases are as easy. However, these tactics can be difficult to prove and are highly litigated in court. Most of the time, experts may need to be involved to evaluate the child and parents to determine the extent or existence of parental alienation. It is important to take notes and evidence of each instance you have experienced where parental alienation was involved. Be able to present this to your Orlando Child Custody Attorney and have an open discussion about your options.
If you feel as though there has been a deterioration of the relationship with your child due to the existence of parental alienation, contact your Orlando Child Custody Attorney to ensure the child’s best interest are being accounted for and protected.
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