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Parental alienation can complicate custody issues

Divorce is a difficult process to go through. Even in the best circumstances, in which two spouses can agree on most major points with an attitude of cooperation, the emotional and legal complexity can appear overwhelming. Fortunately, legal representation for both spouses can help take over a lot of the legal issues so people can focus on recovery.

All parents, divorcing or not, can agree that the welfare of children should come first if there are minors reliant on their parents. As a result, it is very important to remember this priority when facing the prospect of divorce.

Experts in the psychology and children's issues surrounding divorce, separation and the prospect of a broken home are reporting a rising trend known as parental alienation. The pattern is based around a parent consciously undermining a child's relationship with the other parent through rewards and punishments.

Parents may interfere with communications from the other for the child, such as messages and letters. Children may turn against a parent because of false or altered information given to them by the other parent, seeking to gain preference for custody rights or simply endear himself or herself to the child at the other's expense.

This can complicate custody issues and other shared responsibilities that parents have to children during and after divorce. Since family court judges, social workers and other officials with authority over children's issues focus on the well-being of the child, the child's opinion - authentic or not - will often be the basis of major decisions that parents cannot make themselves.

Source: The Huffington Post, "How Parental Alienation Syndrome Is Changing Custody Cases Across The U.S.," Marisa Endicott, Oct. 24, 2017

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