Does your ex-spouse pit your child against you? Does your ex-spouse speak negatively about you to your child? Are you constantly being denied visitation for no reason? These are signs of parental alienation and, if this is happening in your life, you need to take steps to combat it before it gets worse. A child needs both a mother and a father — don’t give up on your rights to see your child and fight for child custody and visitation even if your ex-spouse is trying to alienate you from your child.
Parental alienation is often prevalent in child custody disputes. It is usually defined by a campaign of denigration and hatred by one parent against the other parent. Family law judges will recognize this as a factor in determining the outcome of a child custody dispute, so if it is happening to you, there are some options available to help you. If custody has not yet been decided, make sure the judge knows what is happening. Keep a diary and provide specific evidence.
Some other options include:
- Request a child custody evaluation ― A psychiatrist could profile both parents and present findings to the court regarding the child’s ability to form a relationship with each parent.
- Request mediation ― You can present the dispute to a mediator who can make suggestions and provide recommendations on what the parents can do to protect the child’s best interests. This process often works well because it is less confrontational than litigation.
- Request a guardian ad litem ― This is a special attorney who watches out for your child’s best interests. A guardian ad litem can help work out conflicts and determine what is in the best interest of your child.
- Create a new parenting plan ― If you already have a parenting plan in place and it is not protecting your rights, your attorney can help you create a new plan that includes specific protections for time with your child.
All parents have a right to a meaningful relationship with their child, so if you are being wrongfully excluded from your child’s life, consult with an experienced San Antonio child custody attorney to determine the best course of action to remain in your child’s life.