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Identifying parental alienation amid divorce

Many Maryland divorces involve hurt feelings on one or both sides. Sometimes, the negative feelings spouses have for one another trickle down and start impacting the relationships that exist between them and their children. When one parent’s attempts to turn a child against the other start to threaten the relationship between the child and the other parent, the neglected or rejected parent may need to take action to preserve the relationship.

According to Psychology Today, “parental alienation” refers to one parent’s attempts to psychologically manipulate a son or daughter and make that child reject the other parent. Parental alienation is a frequent issue in divorce cases. It may also have a notable impact on custody or visitation arrangements moving forward.

How to recognize parental alienation

Parental alienation may take on many forms. If you feel as if your child is rejecting you or spying on you, or if your child suddenly begins calling you by your first name, he or she may be doing so because your former spouse is engaging in parental alienation tactics. If your child’s other parent openly criticizes you in your child’s presence or restricts your son or daughter from communicating with you, these actions may also indicate that parental alienation is at play.

How parental alienation impacts children

Parental alienation tactics have the potential to hurt the relationship between you and your child. These actions may also have negative effects on your child’s mental and emotional health.

If you suspect that your ex is engaging in parental alienation tactics and trying to turn the child you share against you, consider taking prompt action to minimize any damage done to your relationship.

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