06 Jul Parental Alienation in South Carolina
Divorce may be hardest on the children of a marriage more than anyone else. They are not often emotionally or mentally equipped to handle and properly understand what is going on. Many children feel torn between two parents, unsure of their future and what the divorce could mean for them. Unfortunately, some divorcing parents who are angered by their divorce may seek to turn their child against the other spouse as a form of retribution. This action is never in the best interest of a child and in its worst form is a type of child abuse.
Parental alienation is the term used to describe the attempts by one parent to undermine the relationship that a child has with the other parent. Children can be suggestive and can succumb to manipulation by someone of authority like their parent. When a child believes what a parent tells them about their former spouse, the child could shy away from the alienated parent and resist continuing a relationship.
Degrees of parental alienation can range from mild to severe. The severity depends on how much one parent attempts to alienate the other. Some parents may do it unintentionally by discussing divorce proceedings or by commenting on their former spouse’s behavior and new romantic relationships. Other times the alienation may be more hostile. One parent, for example, may tell a child that the other parent does not care or love them. Or they may tell the child that the other parent has abandoned them or place blame on the other parent for breaking up the family.
A parent seeking to alienate a child may attempt to interfere with child visitation time, cut a parent out of the child’s life, or allege child abuse when none exists.
Proving Parental Alienation is an Uphill Battle
Unfortunately for parents who are being alienated from their children, it is difficult to prove when it is occurring. Much of the conduct that causes parental alienation occurs in private settings such as the home. Usually, there are no other witnesses to the bad behavior except for the child.
A court order can be entered in cases of parental alienation or in instances where one parent is interfering with the rights of the other. If an ex-spouse is interfering with visitation or parenting time, or if they are openly speaking negatively of the other parent, a South Carolina family court judge can prohibit that party from engaging in the negative behavior. Failure to comply with such an order may result in a contempt order being issued against the noncomplying party.
Don’t Let a Divorce Harm Your Relationship with Your Child
Alienating a child from a parent can have irreparable damage on a parent-child relationship. If you believe that your former spouse is alienating your child from you, contact the attorneys at Klok Family Law, LLC in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. We can guide you through the process of obtaining a court order to help prevent alienation from damaging your relationship with your child.