You and your ex don't have to get along all the time. In fact, it is logical to assume that you don't, since you decided you no longer wanted to be married to each other. However, like most Tennessee parents, you want what's best for your children, especially as you all move on in life, after divorce. You went into divorce understanding that you would always have to interact with your former spouse in relation to your children's lives.
Your plan was to cooperate and compromise as much as possible so that your kids' best interests would always be the highest priority. As time goes on, you're becoming more and more frustrated because it seems that your ex is trying to turn your children against you. It definitely might not be your imagination because it's possible that you're dealing with a parental alienation problem.
The court doesn't look favorably on parents who do this
In most cases, a Tennessee judge is going to think that children are better off in divorce when they have ample opportunity to be with each of their parents on a regular basis. If you can gather enough evidence, you might be able to show the court that your ex has been engineering a scheme to isolate your children and convince them that you're a bad person. The following list includes common signs of parental alienation:
- When children who normally enjoy their time with both parents begin to reject the idea of spending time with one parent, it's important to find out what has caused them to feel this way.
- Children do not usually turn against a parent unless abused or neglect is a factor. If your kids suddenly exhibit hatred or fear toward you, it might be because their other parent is filling their minds with lies.
- How are the relationships between your kids and your extended family members? If your relatives say they have noticed your kids pulling away from them, your ex might be trying to isolate them from your entire side of the family.
- Parents trying to alienate co-parents often coach their kids in what to say or do in certain situations. If your children are using words to describe you or to respond to questions that are beyond their typical vocabulary or simply don't sound like something they'd normally say, it might be because your co-parent is instructing them to say certain things about you.
If you have a court order that includes terms about exchanges of custody and your spouse isn't adhering to those terms, it might be part of a parental alienation plan. A parent will often not show up at the proper place and time but tell kids that it was the other parent's fault. In fact, an alienating parent might even tell kids that the other parent doesn't want to see them.
What to do about a parental alienation problem
When you divorced your spouse, you didn't surrender your parental rights. You don't have to let anyone, including your ex, undermine those rights. Divorce is a challenging enough situation for most kids without someone who is supposed to care for them tricking them into thinking their parent doesn't love them or isn't worthy of their love. Don't be afraid to reach out for immediate legal support if you suspect that your ex is trying to impede your relationship with your children.