Reeder & Brown, P.C.


Four Signs Your Ex Might Be Trying to Alienate You From Your Child

 Posted on December 23, 2021 in Divorce

IL family lawyerThe research on children who experience divorce is surprisingly clear. In nearly every measurable way, divorce has the potential to negatively affect a child's quality of life - both during the divorce and well into the future. However, not all divorces have lasting negative effects on children. Parents who put their children first and work hard to cooperate during divorce can give their children a supportive environment to process the stresses of divorce and set them up for future success.

Unfortunately, not all parents are committed to giving their children the best future possible. Many parents are more interested in getting revenge after the relationship is over, and sometimes this means using the children as weapons in a never-ending fight. One way this can manifest is through one parent’s efforts to alienate a child from their other parent. If you are afraid that your ex is trying to interfere with your ability to have a great relationship with your child, read on.

Common Signs that Your Ex is Trying to Negatively Affect Your Relationship with Your Child

Although there is some controversy about exactly how parental alienation is described and recognized, there is no question that a child can suffer when one parent tries to distance them from their other parent. Behaviors that might be considered parental alienation include:

  • Telling a child how horrible it was to be married to their other parent
  • Divulging inappropriate details about the marital conflict to a child
  • Sharing a belief that the other parent is bad
  • Telling the child the other parent does not love them or want to see them
  • Intentionally disrupting parenting time by being late, “forgetting,” or making other excuses
  • Limiting the child’s contact with the other parent

However, the alienating behaviors occur, the child can suffer. Children naturally want to please their parents and believe what they say; this can lead to the child refusing to see the alienated parent and viewing them in a very negative light. Signs that a child has begun to feel alienated from a parent can include:

  • The child has completely negative feelings about the alienated parent and feels no guilt or ambivalence about this negativity
  • The child cannot provide a rational basis for their feelings, nor do they have specific examples of parental wrongdoing
  • The child seems to be speaking from an adult vocabulary, repeating mature words or themes rather than speaking in an age-appropriate manner
  • The child refuses to talk to the alienated parent and is reluctant to spend time with them
  • The child repeats accusations of alleged bad behavior which the child could not have known about by themselves

If your ex is trying to alienate your child from you, it is important to remember that it is not your child’s fault. Continue to seek connection with your child rather than getting angry or defensive. Illinois family courts do not look kindly on a parent who tries to alienate a child from their other parent. If you believe this is happening, your best course of action is to calmly and consistently collect evidence and speak to an experienced attorney. If the alienating behaviors are serious enough, a modification to parental responsibilities or parenting time may be warranted.

Call a Joliet, IL Child Custody Lawyer

At Reeder & Brown, P.C., we know how important it is for children to have strong relationships with both parents. If you are worried that your ex is trying to interfere negatively in your relationship with your child, it may be time to take action. Schedule a free consultation with one of our Will County child custody attorneys by calling our offices at 815-885-5980.



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