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What Can I Do if My Spouse Has Pitted My Child Against Me in Illinois?

 Posted on March 20, 2024 in Child Custody

IL custody lawyerWhen thinking about domestic abuse, physical violence often comes to mind. Of course, being physically harmed within your family is a horrible thing to experience. But something people discuss less often and can still be detrimental is emotional abuse. When one parent pits their child against the other parent, manipulating the child into having less of a relationship with them, this is a form of emotional abuse otherwise known as parental alienation, and it is a big problem for parents going through a divorce. If you believe your spouse is doing this to your children as an attempt to manipulate your child custody arrangement, speak with an experienced DuPage County, IL divorce lawyer to see what you can do about it.

What Is Involved in Parental Alienation?

When a parent manipulates their child against the other parent, it is a form of psychological and emotional abuse that can be extremely damaging to both the other parent as well as the child. The child trusts her parents to have her best interests at heart, so if one parent tells her that the other is dangerous, does not care about her, or has let her down, she might believe it rather than thinking that her parent is lying to her. She can gradually start to change the way she feels about the other parent.

Parental alienation is a problem that judges do not want to see in their cases. If it comes up in court that this has been happening - based on testimony from the alienating parent, alienated parent, child, or others who are familiar with the situation - the court might decide to grant the alienated parent even more parenting time and parental responsibilities than the other. When the parent has manipulated their child emotionally in an extreme way, even if the child believes that is the only parent who loves him, the court might decide to take away all their parental rights in the interest of the child.

If you think you are the victim of parental alienation, you can request a guardian ad litem to be assigned to your case. This court-appointed professional is tasked with determining what is in a child’s best interest through interviews with all the people involved, reviewing school and medical records, and examining any other relevant information. If the other parent is manipulating your child, this will likely be discovered and remedied.

While the effects of parental alienation can be long-lasting, it is possible to overcome these through means like counseling and therapy, although it can take time to truly heal your parent-child relationship. Your child will also need to work through his emotions and trust issues that can result from understanding that the parent he trusted manipulated him. While there can be a long road ahead, recovery is possible.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a DuPage County, IL Family Law Attorney

If you think you are the victim of parental alienation, a compassionate Wheaton, IL divorce lawyer can offer your guidance at this difficult time. You have rights, and we will advocate fiercely for them. Call Goostree Law Group at 630-364-4046 to schedule a free consultation.

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