Is Parental Alienation a Factor in Your Colorado Custody Case?

The worst case scenario for many parents facing divorce is the potential of their ex to cut them off from the relationship with their child. Unfortunately, that is exactly what some vengeful spouses do during and after a divorce.

Your ex could surprise you with a divorce filing and then immediately do their best to keep you from seeing the children. During the time that you don't get to see the children, the things that your ex says and does could potentially damage your relationship with them.

This behavior, known as parental alienation, is, unfortunately, common in many divorces. However, most family courts are aware of the negative consequences of parental alienation on children, and they will consider it when deciding on the final allocation of parental rights and responsibilities.

Document what your ex is doing to prove it in court

One of the best things you can do to protect your relationship with your children is to stay calm no matter what your ex does. Remaining rational and attempting to communicate calmly in writing, such as via text message or email, can help you assert your rights and create a record of your denied visitation and time with the children.

If you learn that your ex has intentionally started speaking poorly about you to the children, you should make a written note of that as well. Disparaging the other parent is a common tactic for those attempting to alienate the children from their former spouse.

You may worry that your children will internalize that message, but chances are good that they will see through it. Even if they are very young and vulnerable to this attempt at manipulation, they will eventually mature enough to realize what really happened during the divorce.

The courts don't take kindly to parents that cut each other off

When the Colorado courts have to decide how to allocate parental rights and responsibilities in a divorce, their standard approach requires a focus primarily on the best interest of the children. With the exception of extreme circumstances like drug addiction and abuse, the courts will almost always agree that the best interest of the child involves an ongoing relationship with both parents.

When one parent subverts what is best for the children for their own selfish gain, the courts tend to notice that. They could wind up adjusting their final allocation of parental rights and responsibilities to reflect the fact that your ex attempted to alienate you from the kids.

If you know that you are about to engage in a contentious custody battle, one of the best things you can do is to sit down with a Colorado family law attorney. An experienced litigator can teach you more about the process and help you develop a plan for a positive outcome in your custody case.