Protecting Your Family's Future

My Spouse Is Turning My Kids Against Me

Children have no say about their parents divorcing. Their stable worlds are threatened when parents separate and divorce. And even if the divorce is a friendly, cooperative divorce, the child will still grieve the loss. When a parent tries to turn a child against the other parent, it’s the child who often suffers the most, not the other parent.

Sadly, this practice is more common than you would think. There is even a name for it: parental alienation syndrome. It happens most often when the divorce was bitter and there was a custody battle between the two parents.

Sometimes, the custodial parent is so angry that he or she cannot stop from saying bad things about the other parent. When a parent is angry with the other parent and has not resolved these difficult feelings, he or she may also take revenge against that parent by essentially forcing the child to take sides against the other parent. In the most extreme form, the otherwise healthy parent-child bond could be destroyed.

If you are going through a divorce and you suspect that your spouse is turning your kids against you, you must fight this situation, for the sake of your child. First, set boundaries for yourself and for your child that are clear. Do not allow yourself to be drawn into fights with your ex. Do not say anything about your ex to your children when they are with you. As well, even if you have your children just one weekend every other weekend, provide a stable routine for them during that time. If you can live close to your children, do so. This will show them that you love them deeply and will help to counteract the lies that are being told about you. And do all you can to document this as well as document the lies that your spouse is telling about you.

Get support of a counselor who understands the intricacies of parental alienation syndrome and how to combat it. Get support for your grief and other difficult feelings. It will help you be able to still be loving to your children when they act like they are afraid of you or choose not to see you. It is difficult, clearly, especially when you are still dealing with the big feelings from a contentious divorce. Nonetheless, get the support for yourself and do not give up.

Dealing With a Spouse Who Is Trying to Turn the Kids Against You? Contact a Family Law Attorney

Stewart Law, PLLC, located in Baytown, Texas, has provided legal counsel to men and women in divorce and other family law cases for 8 years. If you have questions relating to step-child adoption, we can give you advice that will help you decide how to proceed. For an initial assessment and consultation, contact our family law firm online or call our office at
(281) 420-8020, at a reduced fee of $50.

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