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How Are Children Affected By Parental Disputes After Divorce?

Dallas-Fort Worth couples may come to a mutual agreement about separation or the formal end of a marriage. However, some relationships don’t end so smoothly. The parties may feel anger or bitterness toward one another – feelings that can be temporary or permanent.

Couples who aren’t parents can distance themselves from one another following a separation or divorce. But, co-parenting in the wake of a split requires long-term communication and a form of teamwork, neither which can be easy when adult emotions are running high. It is not uncommon for parents to drag their ongoing troubles into interactions involving their children.

Texas child custody and visitation arrangements are set by parental agreement or court orders. Parents sometimes violate the terms of these agreements to get back at an ex or manipulate the behaviors of a former partner or spouse. Denied visitations and limited child contact with a parent are common weapons in these wars, but the injured parties are often children.

Setting unfair restrictions on an ex’s involvement with children not only breaks a legal agreement, it causes turmoil for the people the parents both love. Children should not, but often do, bear the burden of their parents’ relationship problems. Children used as weapons in a parental dispute feel guilty and confused about loyalties.

Children love their parents, despite what parents feel about one another. Parents who participate in destructive custody and visitation behaviors must recognize the long-range damage that may be caused by limiting a parent-child relationship. Co-parenting does not require you to like an ex, but the shared job does require civility.

If you aren’t engaged in manipulative actions but an ex-partner or spouse is, it may be helpful to discuss the issue with an attorney. A lawyer is prepared to go to court on your behalf if a troublesome custody or visitation matter cannot be resolved any other way.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Parental Alienation Following Divorce: Too Easily Rationalized or Overlooked,” Rosalind Sedacca, May. 07, 2015

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