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Mistakes to Avoid during Co-Parenting

Posted on in Child Custody

Texas complex custody attorney, Texas complex litigation lawyer, Texas high asset divorce attorney, Emotions are very high during and after a divorce or complex child custody proceeding, and parents should take care that these feelings do not corrupt future co-parenting efforts.

Although it may be difficult to do so, do not make negative comments about your ex-partner in front of the children. This language makes the children feel guilty and lowers their self-esteem. Furthermore, it may be a bad idea to allow children to choose between parents, whether formally or informally. Rather predictably, children have a hard time relating with the rejected parent, and the feeling is often mutual. Keep angry outbursts to a minimum, as they disrupt the co-parenting dynamic. Try venting to a friend, co-worker, or family member while outside the presence of the children.

Finally, never use the children to convey messages back and forth. They often get the idea that there is unresolved conflict that may never be resolved, which gives the children a poor perspective about conflicts that arise in their future relationships.

Parental Alienation Syndrome

All four of these habits involve PAS, to a greater or lesser extent. Parental alienation syndrome involves a concerted effort by one parent (alienating parent) to drive an emotional wedge between the children and the other parent (targeted parent). The above situations are all examples of overt PAS. But many times, parental alienation syndrome is much more subtle and, in the eyes of the alienating parent, less harmful:

  • Setting aside the traditional parent-child relationship, and elevating the children to emotional confidants;
  • An extension of special privileges, like more TV time or a more relaxed curfew;
  • Scheduling extracurricular activities that interfere with the other parent's visitation; and
  • Consistently dropping off the children late, picking them up early, and committing other seemingly minor infractions.

If you see any PAS warning signs, it is best to file a motion to modify right away. PAS causes long-term emotional damage, so the motion can be filed at any time. Actually, once the damage is done, it is often irreparable. Moreover, judges and social workers are more aware of PAS and its potentially devastating effects, so they are more willing to support action to stop it.

For a confidential consultation with an aggressive Georgetown high asset divorce attorney who fights for your rights, contact our office. After hours and off-site visits are available.

Sources:

http://www.parentherald.com/articles/24008/20160228/big-mistakes-post-divorce-parenting.htm

http://jkseminars.com/pdf/AlienatedChildArt.pdf

The Law Offices of William D. Powers

8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759