Many people say that it takes a village to raise a child, but it is unfortunately common for freshly divorced parents to try to do it by themselves. Your ex may have that individualistic mentality and may want to cut you out of the lives of the children for their own convenience.
Some people will go to great lengths to sever the relationship their former spouse has with their children. Parental alienation is the intentional and methodical process of undermining a parent-child relationship. Watching for the following warning signs may help you push back if your spouse tries to alienate you from the kids.
Your ex keeps canceling your parenting time
Maybe they have thin but plausible excuses, like one of the children having a fever. Maybe they tell you the children don’t want to see you. Sometimes, they might just cancel without giving an explanation. If your ex has frequently shortened or denied your parenting time, that pattern could be an indicator of potential alienation efforts.
Your children repeat very unfavorable things about you
Alienation doesn’t just involve stopping a parent from seeing the children. It also means actively turning the children’s feelings against the other parent.
A parent intent on alienating their ex might tell their children all kinds of exaggerated stories. They may also tell the truth but in a way that is emotional and inappropriate. When your kids recite terrible things your ex said about you, that could also be a warning of alienation.
Your ex controls all lines of communication
If you can’t speak with the kids without going through your ex, that could impact your relationship negatively. While young children don’t need their own phones, you do need to make some kind of arrangement to stay in communication even when you can’t have parenting time. Efforts to keep you out of contact with the kids could be part of a broader effort to cut you out of their lives.
Showing a history of parental alienation attempts could help you during a contentious custody battle or assist you when asking for a modification because your ex won’t let you have any parenting time. Your attorney can provide valuable guidance.