Father’s that are the target of Parental Alienation face a plethora of challenges. Overcoming those challenges can be overwhelming and leave fathers uncertain of their options for maintaining a relationship with their children.
What is Parental Alienation?
It is defined as “a social dynamic when a child expresses unjustified hatred or unreasonably strong dislike of one parent, making access by the rejected parent difficult or impossible. “
Have a Plan
One of the best ways fathers can protect themselves is to hone in on creating a detailed and explicit parenting plan. Your parenting plan will outline what your rights are as a parent and will provide the framework for enforcing your rights.
It is imperative that you ensure your parenting plan is specific and provides for significant visitation. A vague parenting plan can invite opportunities for the manipulation of visitation, resulting in an undermining of your parental relationship with your child.
A Good Set of Rules Means Nothing if You Don’t Enforce Them.
A comprehensive parenting plan will only protect your rights if you enforce it. Many men make the mistake of letting small encroachments slide in an effort to be amicable and accommodating. These small grants can quickly add up to big obstacles down the road.
Complaining about violations or denial of parenting time isn’t enough. You have to enforce the parenting plan. Failing to enforce the parenting plan through the court system can embolden the mother to continue treading on your rights and your relationship with your child.
Multiple Findings of Contempt can Lead to a Switch of Custody
Enforcing your parenting plan with the court will have several effects. First, it establishes your commitment to maintaining a consistent and involved parental relationship with your child.
Second, it provides a record of parenting plan violations (contempt). Multiple violations of the parenting plan can lead to a switching of custody.
Family Counseling May Be Needed
Sometimes dad’s can do everything right and Mom is still able to alienate them from their child. If Parental Alienation has been effective, modifying the parenting plan to add a provision for family counseling, child counseling and/or a custody evaluation may help reverse the damage of the estrangement.
Parental Alienation can be devastating. If you are a father and are facing custody, divorce or other family law issues, educating yourself on your rights is the first step to protecting your relationship with your child.