What Can I Do About My Ex Alienating Our Child From Me?

Cook County family law attorneyGetting along with your ex during and after an Illinois divorce can be challenging. Unfortunately, sometimes parents will be so upset after a divorce that they deliberately influence their child’s perspective of the other parent, using tactics such as belittling, criticizing, interfering with contact, and undermining the child’s relationship with the other parent. If you are the recipient of this behavior, read on to find out what you can do.

Is Parental Alienation Real?

Illinois law deliberately rejects the term “parental alienation syndrome,” because it is too subjective for practical purposes. However, the law does recognize that certain behaviors might be considered alienating and can be detrimental to the child’s health and wellbeing.

It is important to take alienating behavior seriously. A child does not have the experience or maturity to understand adult conflicts and can feel ashamed and responsible for their parents’ negative emotions. In addition to the harm this does to the child’s wellbeing, sometimes alienating behaviors can have a permanent effect on the long-term relationship between a parent and child.

What Can I Do about Alienating Behaviors?

If you are still in divorce proceedings, you may request a temporary allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. This may reduce or eliminate the amount of time a child spends with the alienating parent, thereby reducing the toxic rhetoric the child hears. Because judges must consider what is in a child’s best interests, courts tend not to look kindly upon parents who interfere in each other’s relationships with the child.

Request a Third-Party Investigation

If you are struggling to prove your ex is negatively influencing your child’s opinion of you, you may want to consider a third-party representative such as a custody evaluator or a guardian ad litem. Both are impartial actors in a child custody case and will work to discover what is in the best interests of the child. In addition to the child, they may interview parents, neighbors, and other adults, conduct home visits, and order psychological testing. If alienating behaviors are present, they are likely to be discovered by a third party, who will then write a report for the judge.

Speak With a Rolling Meadows Family Law Attorney

Feeling like you are being deliberately alienated from your child can be heartbreaking. Fortunately, you may have legal options to challenge this behavior. Donald J. Cosley has over 20 years of courtroom experience and will act assertively to get you the help you need. Having the help of a Cook County family law attorney may make a significant impact on the success of your case. Contact Cosley Law Office at 847-253-3100 for a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+VI&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8675000&SeqEnd=12200000

https://centerforparentingeducation.org/library-of-articles/focus-parents/is-your-child-alienated/

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