By Julie Garrison
Divorce and wrangling over child custody concerns is never pleasant. But in high-conflict divorces, things can rapidly escalate out of control with very little provocation.
While most divorcing parents manage to maintain their moral principles and overall composure during custody disputes, there are also those estranged spouses that can seem impossibly difficult.
Here are some tactics that should not be ignored:
Withholding or interfering with visitation rights by cancelling visitation at the last minute, making a dad wait by arriving home late for a child’s pickup or shortening visitation time at the last minute
Interfering with a dad’s participation in his child’s activities, such as athletic events, school conferences and recitals
Restricting a dad’s telephone access to his children
Withholding important health information about a child or lying to professionals about providing a dad with a child’s health record
Moving unexpectedly with the children for the children’s “best interests”
Making false accusations against a dad, such as saying that he is violent with the children, and coercing the children to say the same
Most of the tactics listed above are considered signs of parental alienation. Tactics like these could even cause a custodial mother to lose custody of her children if a judge deems the offenses to be serious enough.
The Parental Alienation Awareness Organization seeks to shed light on some of the unfair tactics used in custody battles:
“These behaviors, whether verbal or non-verbal, cause a child to be mentally manipulated or bullied into believing a loving parent is the cause of all their problems and/or the enemy, to be feared, hated, disrespected and avoided.”
It is vital for a dad who is being treated this way by an estranged or ex-wife to keep a running log of any of the above unfair tactics. This information can be used in court during custody proceedings.
Depending upon the state where the father resides, parental alienation can be considered a quite serious offense. Dads in situations like these should also try to keep a cool head and avoid retaliation.
Above all, it is important to retain a family law attorney who specializes in dads’ rights cases in all such custody proceedings.
Julie Garrison has been writing articles and short stories for the past 10 years and has appeared in several magazines and e-zines.