Even during the most low-conflict divorce, children can have a tough time. When a marriage ends, parents may have to navigate complex issues such as custody, visitation, and child support. Unfortunately, in some cases, a mother may be turning a child against the father during this time. This can be a tactic to make her look more favorable to the courts, especially if the child’s opinion on their living arrangements is considered. As a divorce lawyer for men in New Jersey, I have seen this happen all too often. Here are some of the common signs of parental manipulation and what you can do if your ex is turning your child against you.
Your ex speaks negatively about you in front of your child
One of the most common signs that your ex is turning your child against you is when they openly speak negatively about you in front of your child. If you’ve witnessed your ex make derogatory comments about you to the kids, it’s safe to assume they’re making those same comments – or worse ones – in private. Over time, this can create a negative image of you in your child’s mind, leading them to believe that you are not a good parent.
Your child seems to have a sudden change in attitude towards you
If your child suddenly seems distant or hostile towards you, it could be a sign that your ex is turning them against you. Children are often influenced by the attitudes and behaviors of the adults around them, and if your ex is speaking negatively about you or undermining your authority, your child may begin to adopt those attitudes. Ask your child outright about their behavioral shift to make sure there isn’t an easier explanation. If they can’t give a clear explanation, it may be an indicator of parental alienation.
Your child is reluctant to spend time with you
Another sign that your ex is turning your child against you is when they are reluctant to spend time with you. This could manifest as your child making excuses not to come to your house or being uninterested in spending time with you when they are there. In some cases, your ex may even try to prevent you from seeing your child by making it difficult for you to schedule visits or by withholding information about your child’s schedule.
Your ex is overly involved in your child’s life
Has your ex suddenly become very involved in every aspect of your child’s life? While it is normal for parents to be involved with their children, if your ex is overly involved to the point of micromanaging your child’s schedule or making decisions without consulting you, it could be a sign that they are trying to exclude you from your child’s life. By limiting your involvement, they may be trying to create a sense of distance between you and your child.
How to address parental alienation
If you suspect that your ex is turning your child against you, there are steps you can take to address the situation. First, make sure to communicate with your ex about your concerns. Explain what you’ve noticed and let her know that you are concerned about the impact her behavior may be having on your child and that you want to work together to ensure that your child has a positive relationship with both parents. It’s possible that she wasn’t aware of the consequences of her behavior but is willing to cooperate.
If talking to your ex does not help, you may need to speak to a divorce lawyer for men in New Jersey. An experienced attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options for addressing the situation. This may involve seeking a modification of your custody or visitation agreement, or pursuing legal action if your ex’s behavior rises to the level of parental alienation.
Your child’s well-being should always come first, and that means that they should have a positive relationship with both parents. If you’re being separated or alienated from your child, contact The Micklin Law Group to learn about your options in family court.