Divorce may bring out the worst in people, even those who were once so in love. Once the dust settles and the final papers filed, life may start to return to a new normal.
You may notice a change in your children and the way they interact with you. While some change in behavior is natural, others seem severe and worrisome. Your child may fall victim to parental alienation or malicious mother syndrome. How can you spot the signs?
Lies told enough times become truth
One of the most significant signs of parental alienation involves the other parent or the alienator repeatedly lying to shift a child's perception and belief. If a lie gets heard often enough, it may seem to become truth, especially to a child. To get back at the other parent, the alienator may distort facts to align with their feelings.
Visitation becomes difficult
Interfering with visitation and custody arrangements by fabricating excuses is another telltale sign of malicious mother syndrome. Children may start making up reasons why they do not wish to visit the noncustodial parent. This manipulation aims to keep the child and the other parent apart, putting a strain on the relationship.
Punishment is motivation
It is common in divorce for one party to feel slighted, angry or bitter either by the circumstances surrounding the proceedings or the outcome. The party who feels slighted may become the alienator and push an agenda to hurt the other parent. The parent may use the children as pawns to seek revenge through emotional abuse, manipulation, constant involvement of courts in day-to-day decisions and a continued effort to get full custody of the children.
Malicious mother syndrome is a real affliction that causes great harm to children. In Ohio, if you are guilty of parental alienation, the court may take away some of your rights under your divorce decree and parenting plan. If you suspect your children have suffered emotional abuse at the hands of your former spouse, it is essential you document the instances so you can build a case and get them the help they need.