Perhaps the hardest thing about divorce with children is how it affects your relationship with your kids. Even if you and your co-parent try your best to shield your children from the stress of divorce, they will probably suffer some emotional consequences from the end of your marriage.
You may need to reconnect with the children and work to re-establish your relationship after the changes caused by divorce. Unfortunately, your co-parent could make that process much more difficult by trying to keep you out of the children’s lives.
Parental alienation could hurt your most important relationships
Parental alienation involves one parent denying the other visitation or trying to damage their relationship with the children. Parental alienation can look like the denial of one parent’s legal parenting time or visitation for paper-thin reasons or no reason at all. It might also involve one parent talking negatively about the other to the children until it starts to affect how the children perceive that parent.
Protect your relationship by fighting back against misconduct
As soon as you notice a pattern of denied, canceled or shortened visitation, keeping a record can help protect you. Documenting every time your ex refuses to let you see the kids or cuts your parenting time short will show a pattern of behavior.
You might also want to make notes about negative things you overhear your co-parent saying to the children or that the children repeat to you. Eventually, you may need to go to court and ask for intervention to stop your ex from damaging your relationship. In some cases, the courts may even increase your parenting time to help you recover from the damage caused by an attempt at parental alienation.
Learning about what kinds of behaviors might affect shared custody arrangements can help you be a better, more involved co-parent after divorce. It can also help you know when and how to take action to protect your rights and relationships with your children.