Michigan family law: Parental alienation and its damaging effects

Michigan family law: Parental alienation and its damaging effects

Dealing with any legal matter can be extremely stressful for anyone involved in the situation. In many cases though, matters relating to family law, specifically divorce and the ensuing battle for child custody when offspring are involved, can be the most challenging. With the amount of feelings and intimacy that are involved in a marriage long term, unfortunately those feelings are often compounded when one or both parties decide that that union has to come to an end. When emotions are running high, the stakes are even higher, especially in relation to what the future looks like for the life of any children caught up in the mix. This is not always the case though. Some couples end their relationship amicably, and are able to cordially work through the process of separating their relationship, dividing any assets such as properties, vehicles or finances, and ultimately deciding the visitation and living arrangements for their children — but not everyone is that fortunate with such a luxury of ease. Ideally, the best intentions of children should always be kept at the forefront of any household, even after separation. However, when a romantic relationship ends badly between a couple, especially in cases of infidelity, or other situations where trust may have been broken between spouses, both parties may not be as willing to cooperate or compromise, and will choose to use their children as leverage to hold against their former partner. When a couple has children, one parent may do all that he or she can to use the kids to hurt the other parent. This form of revenge can be extremely damaging not only to the parent on the receiving end, but also for the stability of the child. Parental alienation is a very real thing and complaints of it occurring in Michigan families are often seen in the family law world. In honor of Parental Alienation Awareness Day, which falls on April 25, this week’s column will address the damaging effects of this behavior, based on research as well as our personal experience in the Michigan Court.

What exactly is parental alienation? In short, it is where one parent does things to poison his or her children’s relationship with the other parent. The Parental alienation laws of Michigan of Michigan exist in order to uphold a court order that may not be being followed, if one child is being exclusively kept in one parents home — alienating the other parent from access to their child. There are a number of ways this can be done; a few examples include:

  • Interfering with parenting time
  • Blaming the other parent for the marriage ending
  • Talking negatively about the other parent
  • Telling children that their other parent does not want to see them

Parental alienation laws in Michigan, are in existence in order to ensure that a child still has the ability to visit the other parent. The concept of parental alienation is relatively common in custody disputes that do not end amicably. As a result, one parent will keep the child from the other parent. It is believed that fathers are most often the victims of parental alienation. However, it can and does happen to mothers as well. Parental alienation syndrome can affect both parents and children in both their mental health and physical health in the long term. The targeted parent often bears the brunt of the short end of the stick in this scenario. No matter which parent is behind the alienation, those who suffer the most are the children. This is extreme emotional abuse that can taint the parent-child relationship for the rest of a child’s life. 

When going through the divorce process and even when all is said and done, acting in a way that is beneficial to the children is really beneficial for the whole family. It can be difficult to do, particularly when a lot of bad feelings are involved, but becoming an alienating parent will only come back to hurt one in the long run. Michigan residents who stand accused of engaging in parental alienation may find themselves in contempt of court. This means that they could end up having to pay fines, possibly spend time in jail and face having their custody orders modified in a way that is not in their favor. Those who believe that they are the victims of this behavior can seek out an experienced family law attorney who will be able to help them address the matter in or out of court.

Some relationships end badly. When a couple has children, one parent may do all that he or she can to use the kids to hurt the other parent. Parental alienation is a very real thing and complaints of it occurring in Michigan families are often seen in the family law world. In honor of Parental Alienation Awareness Day, which falls on April 25, this week’s column will address the damaging effects of this behavior.

What exactly is parental alienation? In short, it is where one parent does things to poison his or her children’s relationship with the other parent. There are a number of ways this can be done; a few examples include:

  • Interfering with parenting time
  • Blaming the other parent for the marriage ending
  • Talking negatively about the other parent
  • Telling children that their other parent does not want to see them

It is believed that fathers are most often the victims of parental alienation. However, it can and does happen to mothers as well. No matter which parent is behind the alienation, those who suffer the most are the children. This is extreme emotional abuse that can taint the parent-child relationship for the rest of a child’s life.

When going through the divorce process and even when all is said and done, acting in a way that is beneficial to the children is really beneficial for the whole family. It can be difficult to do, particularly when a lot of bad feelings are involved, but becoming an alienating parent will only come back to hurt one in the long run. Michigan residents who stand accused of engaging in parental alienation may find themselves in contempt of court. This means that they could end up having to pay fines, possibly spend time in jail and face having their custody orders modified in a way that is not in their favor. Those who believe that they are the victims of this behavior can seek out an experienced family law attorney who will be able to help them address the matter in or out of court.

Recent Posts