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In a co-parenting arrangement, watch out for alienation

While it is usually both rewarding and fulfilling, parenting can also be unbelievably challenging. This is particularly true in non-conventional families, such as those with post-divorce co-parents. Regardless of how your marriage came to an end, your ex-spouse should not sabotage your relationship with your kids. 

Parental alienation occurs when one parent disparages, discredits or fosters hostility toward the other parent. Typically, these actions involve mental and emotional manipulation. Unfortunately, the effect is usually the same. That is, children prefer the alienating parent while rejecting the alienated one. Because parental alienation can cause life-long consequences, you must watch for its warning signs. Here are some of them: 

Spying 

Co-parents should not use the children to spy on each other. Unfortunately, this occasionally happens. If your former partner asks your son or daughter to engage in espionage, you may be the target of parental alienation. 

Interference 

You probably have a custody order, parenting plan or another official agreement that gives you certain rights, including visitation time. If your ex-spouse interferes with your ability to see your kids, he or she is probably violating your agreement. Your former partner may also be engaging in parental alienation. 

False abuse allegations 

Not only is child abuse bad parenting, but it also usually involves serious criminal conduct. Nonetheless, a co-parent may make false allegations of abuse. This may occur in a couple of different ways. First, your ex-spouse may report you to the police or a protective service agency. Alternatively, he or she may convince your children that you are abusing them. Either way, false abuse allegations are often evidence of parental alienation. 

Disparagement 

Your ex-spouse may not think too highly of you. Still, he or she should refrain from disparaging you to your children. If not, parental alienation may be the ultimate goal. 

Texas courts have a variety of ways to deal with parental alienation. You also have some other options. Nonetheless, because your relationship with your children may be in extreme danger, you simply cannot stand idly by while your ex-spouse turns your kids against you.

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