Getting divorced is stressful, especially if you and your former spouse do not see eye to eye on important issues you must resolve in order to achieve a fair settlement. For instance, if you each interpret what is best for your children differently, it can cause a delay in proceedings and may even necessitate litigation to resolve the issue. There are plenty of resources available in Illinois to help you negotiate a satisfactory co-parenting agreement. It’s unfortunate when a parent drags the kids into a custody fight.
Have your children’s attitudes toward you changed in a negative way since they learned about your impending divorce? Maybe you’ve already started transferring custody back and forth with your kids traveling between two households. When they come home to you, are they moody, disgruntled or disrespectful? It might be a sign that your ex is trying to turn to your children against you.
Parental alienation is a form of emotional abuse
You and your ex don’t have to match in parenting styles. You can run your household the way you see fit, and your co-parent may do the same. There may be certain terms in your co-parenting agreement that apply to your parenting time, such as a rule that you agree never to introduce your kids to a new romantic partner without the other parent meeting him or her first.
While you each have a right to parent the way you choose, your ex doesn’t have a right to fill your children’s minds with lies about you. Whatever transpired between you as spouses is an adult issue. Your ex can’t use your children as a means to take revenge on you out of anger over past relationship hurts. Confusing your kids and making them hostile toward you is emotionally abusive.
The court investigates allegations of abuse
In all matters of custody, the court keeps your children’s best interests in mind. If a shared custody situation is possible and there is no bad blood between you and your ex, so be it. If the judge believes you should have custody and your co-parent should have visitation, that’s also an option. However, if you, for any reason, believe your children are victims of physical or emotional abuse, you can bring the matter to the court’s attention.
Most judges will order an investigation following allegations of abuse. Children have a right to gain the support and love of both parents. Alienating children from a parent by means of a systematic, intentional scheme may not only be detrimental to their health but could land a parent in a heap of legal trouble as well.