child on parent's back

How Should You Respond to Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation has become an all too common reason clients seek legal counsel and ultimately hire me. The alienated parent is at odds as to what to do about the situation and devastated that their own flesh and blood is rejecting them. Some children even tell them that they hate them and that they never want to see them again. All of those precious memories of building forts, playing in the backyard together, and snuggling during bedtime stories are marred by these statements the child is suddenly saying. Very often, kids will even state that they don’t remember the parent doing those things with them or they say that they didn’t really like doing those things with them. In the beginning, many parents blame the divorce for the child’s behavior and think the child will eventually “come around” but as many unfortunately discover that is not the case when the other parent is filling the child full of untruths and influencing their thoughts about that parent. If the alienated parent is not careful, their children will slowly fade away forever.

Control Your Anger

I know your first instinct is to be angry and I can’t say that I blame you because the hurt and fear are painful and overwhelming. However, anger is never the answer because it has a way of bringing out the worst in us and cause us to say and do things that we should not. Those things said and done while angry are often used against the parent in court. Channel that energy into working with your attorney to get your children back in your life.

Gather a Team to Support and Help You

Gather a team that can help you and your child get out of the situation. This team consists of an attorney who has experience in parental alienation, a counselor to help you cope with what is happening, and a counselor for the child to help them realize the toxicity of the lies they are told creating false beliefs about you.

Write It Down

Document the occurrences. Keep a journal or notes on your smart phone with dates that the custodial parent blocked your access to the child, write down the situation, and notate the excuse used. There’s a saying I like to tell all my clients, “If it’s not in writing, it didn’t happen.”  When in court, you always want to be the party with the most documentation and evidence with dates and specifics about an event and occurrences.

Ask for Visitation In Writing

To go with the point above, ask to see the child via text message or email providing concrete evidence that you want to see your child. This avoids a he-said/she-said situation.

Never Give Up

Stay persistent in your fight. You cannot give up. There is too much at stake. Keep fighting and doing what you know is right. I have dealt with many clients in parental alienation situations like this and I can tell you the worst thing you can do is think the problem will get better on its own or that you are doing the right thing by leaving the child alone to not cause more emotional harm to him or her. Doing these things will most likely result in losing your children forever or at a minimum cause unrepairable damage to your relationship. You must fight to keep your children in your life. It is important to find an attorney who knows how to efficiently fight parental alienation dynamics. When you hire Kevin Hickey Law Partners, we will strategically respond to the parental alienation in efforts to get your children back in your life and avoid total and permanent severance of your relationship with your child. Contact us today. The River Valley office number is 479.434.2414 and the Northwest Arkansas office is 479.802.6560.