There is a saying that states "all's fair in love and war". Unfortunately, when that love is over, children can become pawns in the ongoing relationship between their parents after the divorce is finalized. Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is the term given when a child is being turned against one parent because of manipulation by the other. If you suspect that your child is being used in this manner, then you need a lawyer intervention before permanent damage is done to your relationship with your child.
Signs Of PAS Manipulation
There are several signs of PAS that you must watch out for while you are interacting with your children during your visitation periods. Even when it feels that the relationship seas are calm and there is nothing to fear, it is important to remain vigilant for signs that the seas are about to get rough.
- Your child only sees your ex-partner in a positive light. If your child only has a black and white point of view towards the other parent that is permanently switched to positive, there is a possibility that the other parent is portraying themselves as the good, while you are portrayed as the bad.
- Your child denies that the other parent is coaching them about how to think and what they should say, yet their words and actions mimic those of your ex-partner.
- Your child is starting to show hostility to both yourself and all extended family members. You will notice this more if your child has always had a great relationship with these family members in the past, but now rejects contact with them all.
- Your child suddenly and inexplicably refuses to have any contact with you. This is the worst and final stage of PAS as it means the child has already made up their mind to limit contact with you.
The earlier you see these signs, the earlier you can begin an intervention before they lead to a complete breakdown in the relationship with your child.
Lawyer intervention is one way that you can fight back against PAS. By bringing this issue to the attention of the court, you can potentially squash any attempts by the other parent to make a change to the existing custody orders based on a "sudden" reluctance by your child to interact with you.
Get family lawyers to make the courts aware immediately the child is not coming to your home under the terms of the custody settlement. While you may fear doing emotional damage to your child by forcing them to come to your home against their will, by not following the guidelines of the custody arrangement you are allowing defiant behaviour to become entrenched.
Court-ordered counselling is one way that you can make sure that your child is receiving the professional help required so that they can see the manipulation, and it can be stopped in its tracks. Manipulating parents will fight against attending counselling, or taking on board the recommendations of a counsellor if they are asked to do so voluntarily. However, if it is court-ordered they have little choice but to attend for fear of being held in contempt of the court's orders.
The years after divorce are not always easy, particularly when parental alienation comes into play. No matter what happens you must take every opportunity to let your children know how much you love them, and that you wish to be there for them. Give them the core values they need to grow into wonderful adults, and hope that even if you are separated for a time that they will eventually recognise the truth and return to you willingly.