When you and your Pennsylvania spouse make the decision to split, there may be hurt feelings on one or both sides. You may try to shield any children you share from the growing animosity that exists between you and your ex, but you may find that your former partner neglects to do the same.
According to Psychology Today, parental alienation occurs in somewhere between 11% and 15% of American divorces involving children.
Defining parental alienation
In some divorces, parents try to get their children to favor them while rejecting the other parent. A type of manipulation that typically involves your ex trying to get your children to feel negative about you, parental alienation often has far-reaching effects and may impact your child or children long after your divorce becomes final.
Identifying parental alienation tactics
Your former spouse may try to turn your child against you by badmouthing you or limiting communications between you and your child when he or she is at the other home. The alienating parent may also encourage your child to reject you or reward him or her in some way for doing so.
A parent engaging in parental alienation tactics may also try to convince your child that you are neglectful, inadequate or even dangerous. In more extreme cases, parents trying to get a child to reject the other parent might make false allegations of abuse or neglect.
If you feel your child’s other parent is engaging in parental alienation tactics, you may want to consider having a psychologist examine your child to assess how much damage has occurred.