When you are going through a
divorce, especially one that is openly
contested, it may come as no surprise that your soon-to-be ex-spouse is not friendly
towards you, and may even take steps to sabotage your happiness. You may
be shocked to find, however, that your children can behave similarly,
pushing you away, ignoring you, or actively trying to emotionally hurt
you. When this occurs, it may be due to a psychological condition called
parental alienation syndrome (PAS), or the mindset that one parent is
worse than the other or wickeder.
The top five signs of parental alienation syndrome include:
- Child openly blames you for the divorce, or highly praises your ex.
- Child stops communicating with you, or only speaks to you through digital
- Child will not accept your help when necessary (no rides home from school,
does not seek first aid after mild injury, etc.).
- Child acts callously towards your trusted friends or family members.
- Child develops uncharacteristic mood swings or anxiety.
PAS does not only develop through the actions of your child. In many cases,
it is found that the parent the child has not alienated is actually intentionally
and maliciously manipulating or encouraging the child to behave in such a way.
Your ex may be the cause for your child’s PAS if they:
- Do not allow your child to keep any of their property in your home during
- Prevent you from viewing the child’s medical records, grades, activity
schedules, and more.
- Violate child visitation agreements to spend more time with your child,
consequently giving you less and less time with your child.
- Discuss private details of your divorce with your child in an attempt to
- Act hurt or disappointed when your child has fun or spends time with you.
What Can I Do to Address and Stop PAS?
How you go about addressing and handling signs of parental alienation syndrome
in your child depends greatly on what you believe the causes to be. If
the PAS stems from your child’s own thoughts and decisions, and
you find no reason to believe that your ex-spouse is encouraging the behavior,
you need to focus on reconnecting with your child. This can be done by
planning more time together and reaffirming often that you love them,
but you may want to inquire with a child or family psychologist or psychiatrist
if you fear your child’s PAS has already affected them dramatically.
You should also not hesitate to talk about the problem with your ex if
your divorce ended peacefully and they are not involved with the current problem.
do think your ex is largely behind your child’s PAS, the approach may
need to be much different. Intentionally trying to make your child hate
you is insidious behavior to which your child should not be exposed. In
such a dire situation, you should contact a divorce lawyer and determine
whether or not legal action must be taken to set things right. It could
be possible that PAS encouragement from your ex is grounds for the court
to remove their parental responsibilities.
Do you need a Denver family law attorney?
Contact The Moodie Law Firm today and schedule your