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Child custody: Is your ex trying to keep you away?

Many Michigan parents are struggling to resolve post-divorce child-related issues. Every state has its own child custody guidelines, and parents are obligated to adhere to the terms of a court order. Unfortunately, some parents say whatever they think they need to say in court, then turn around and do something entirely different.

Divorce is often stressful for children. Most family court judges would agree that kids fare best when they are able to maintain healthy, active relationships with both parents. Parental alienation is a real problem that occurs when one parent tries to turn children against the other parent. Not only can this make it all the more difficult for kids to cope with divorce, but a parent attempting to alienate a co-parent is likely defying a court order as well.

Kids may show signs of alienation if they used to show love and affection for a particular parent, then suddenly seem to develop hatred or even fear of him or her. This might be happening if their other parent is telling them lies, such as that the parent in question doesn’t love them or filed for divorce to get rid of them. If a child is asked why he or she is rejecting a parent, the explanations given might be questionable, such as saying that the parent never cooks or cleans, or that the parent always looks sloppy. A child might also answer such questions by offering outlandish allegations that are likely not true.

If the court has granted child custody to a Michigan parent or he or she has visitation rights, the other parent is not allowed to impede his or her access to or relationship with the children. A concerned parent may seek the court’s intervention to halt a parental alienation scheme. It is a good idea to first connect with an attorney who has experience in this type of litigation.