Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a term that refers to one parent’s malicious and concentrated efforts to alienate the other parent from their children. Sadly, it’s a common factor in many contentious divorce situations.
Like most responsible mothers and fathers, your main parenting priority in divorce is to protect your children’s best interests. You understand that most children fare best in divorce when given ample opportunities to spend time with both of their parents.
Children whose divorcing parents are willing to cooperate and compromise as necessary in order to maintain active, healthy relationships with them set the tone for transitions to new, happy and productive lifestyles. When one parent is making that impossible for the other, all sorts of problems can arise, including mental stress and legal complications. If you know ahead of time what resources are available to help you, you can protect your rights and the best interests of your children.
Signs to alert you to parental alienation problems
It is necessary to keep a close eye on things if you think your spouse is acting underhandedly to try to turn your children against you. The following signs warrant your immediate attention:
- If your kids keep calling to tell you they can’t make their visit dates, it’s cause for concern. If this happens, ask questions, such as what the exact reason is that they can’t make it, and also when a good time would be to schedule a postponed visit.
- Were you getting ready to go to your children’s school concert, event or game when one of them called you to ask you to stay away? Alienating parents may use such tactics to separate the other parent from the kids during important activities and milestones.
- If you question your child about the change in his or her demeanor, and he or she says the rejection was all his or her idea, not the other parent’s, it may make you even more concerned.
You and your former spouse are not always going to see eye-to-eye when it comes to matters involving your children. Parenthood would not be much of a challenge if things were perfect all the time. However, no one has the right to keep you from your children or to try to turn them against you. If you think that’s happening, you can take immediate action against it.