Parental Alienation is an extremely serious issue that can have long-lasting effects on your children including low self-esteem, self-hatred, lack of trust, depression, substance abuse and other forms of addiction. It is imperative, as a divorcing parent in Florida, that you recognize the signs of Parental Alienation and know what legal recourse you have if it is occurring.
Preventing or stopping alienation starts with identifying it early on. Some signs of Parental Alienation to look for include, but are not limited to:
- Your children appearing to have knowledge of details related to the legal aspects of your divorce or separation
- A sudden negative change in your children’s attitude toward you
- Your children appearing uneasy around you and shutting down conversations with one-word answers
- Your children acting unusually rude or belligerent to you
- Your ex-spouse cutting back on court-ordered timesharing (visitation) or completely denying all timesharing and/or allowing your children to choose whether or not they visit you
- Your ex-spouse refusing to give you access to medical and school records or schedules of extracurricular activities
- False allegations of sexual abuse, drug and alcohol use, or other illegal activities made against you
Download our free book “What to Do When Your Ex Begins Badmouthing You to Your Kids” to learn everything your need to know about Parental Alienation including how to find help.
Pressing Charges in Florida for Parental Alienation
Addressing Parental Alienation in the courts is a very complex situation. It is important to have someone on your side with expertise in the area and who knows how to navigate the system.
Be aware that Parental Alienation Syndrome is not recognized by the American Psychological Association or included in the DSM – meaning it can’t legally be defined as a mental disorder. That said, courts do accept and consider evidence of Parental Alienation and alienating behavior during child timesharing (visitation/custody) proceedings in Florida and those can impact custody arrangements.
After your divorce is final, you may still have legal options to combat Parental Alienation.
- If your ex-spouse is violating a court-ordered timesharing (custody/visitation) order (Parenting Plan), the court is within its right to propose solutions including, but not limited to: ordering make-up timesharing, imposing fines, or temporarily or permanently changing the timesharing order (Parenting Plan). For cases of more extreme interference, a parent can be found in contempt of court, which can result in jail time.
- You also can seek court orders prohibiting certain conduct if your ex-spouse is engaging in specific alienating behaviors. This may include anything from not allowing your child to keep gifts you give them or to take their favorite toys with them to scheduling events or activities that conflict with the visitation schedule.
- You also can petition the court in Florida for supervised timesharing, if you are concerned for your children’s safety or welfare (including Parental Alienation) when they visit your ex-spouse.
If you suspect you are a victim of Parental Alienation, consult with an experienced Marital and Family Law Attorney immediately. The difficulties in remedying a case involving alienation of a parent dramatically increase as the behavior escalates.
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. If you are dealing with Parental Alienation in your divorce or other family law case, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. online or call our office.