One of the saddest elements of contested custody cases in divorce is when one parent attempts to interfere with the custody arrangements. This is known as both parenting time interference and parental alienation, and it is a very destructive influence to the parent-child bond.
Parental alienation can manifest itself in many ways, but the goal is to deprive the other parent of their time and good relationship with their child. Common behaviors that can lead to parenting time interference include the following:
- Prohibiting telephone conversations between the child and their other parent
- Preventing visitation with the child by the other parent
- Telling their other parent the wrong time or date of ballgames, recitals or other occasions so it appears they decided not to show up
- Making the child choose sides
- Allowing the child to become afraid of their other parent
- Speaking badly about the other parent to the child or in front of them to others
- Tossing out unopened cards, letters or gifts the other parent sent
As one might imagine, parenting time interference can create rifts in the child’s relationship with their other parent that may never fully heal. The psychological scars from the manipulation can last a lifetime.
Don’t let it happen to you and your child. If you suspect that your ex is interfering in your parenting time, you can take action. Notify your San Jose attorney, and the two of you can devise a plan of action to alert the courts to the situation before irreparable damage occurs with the relationship between you and your son or daughter.