A lot of strong emotions can be flying around when parents divorce. Consequently, it is not uncommon for there to be a fair amount of anger between divorcing/divorced parents. Thus, following a divorce, rather contentious disagreements can sometimes arise between divorced parents.
When such a disagreement arises, anger may cause a parent to want to “get back” at their ex for the disagreement. When a parent is feeling this temptation, one thing it can be very important for them to not do is to try to use the kids as a way to punish their ex, such as withholding contact with the kids from their ex in retaliation for the disagreement. It can be incredibly harmful to kids when divorced parents try to use them as emotional weapons following a divorcing.
When making decisions regarding the kids, divorced parents should always make sure their driving motivation is the kids’ best interests, and not some other motivation, like the desire to “get back” at their ex for something they weren’t happy about. Thus, one would hope divorced parents would never withhold contact with the kids from their ex as a way to try to punish their ex for a personal disagreement. Unfortunately though, emotions sometimes get the best of a parent post-divorce and they decide to engage in such conduct.
When a parent is having contact with their kids being blocked by their ex and they think that their ex is doing this to try to punish them, they may wonder what legal options they have to respond to this conduct.
A parent withholding contact with the kids from an ex as punishment for a disagreement can not only be harmful, it also could, depending on the child custody arrangement that is in place regarding the kids, be in violation of such an agreement. Lawyers can help parents who suspect that their ex is trying to punish them for a personal disagreement by keeping them from being able to have contact with the kids determine if the ex’s behavior violates the child custody arrangement regarding the kids and what legal actions may be available to try to address the situation.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Parental Alienation Following Divorce: Too Easily Rationalized or Overlooked,” Rosalind Sedacca, May 7, 2015