One of the worst things that a parent can do in the eyes of a Tennessee court is to engage in a pattern of trying to alienate his or her child from the other parent. Beyond being prepared to take strong legal action if the other parent is trying to do this to you, it also helps to understand more about parental alienation so that you can avoid it and spot the signs.

Alienators are needy towards the children

The parent who is the alienator is motivated by simultaneous feelings of anger and neediness. On one hand, this person feels that he or she must punish the other parent by trying to ruin his or her relationship with the children. At the same time, an alienating parent also has a co-dependent relationship with the children and is looking to the kids for validation and fulfillment. In other words, the child becomes the source of emotional care for the parent.

Alienation consists of badmouthing and lies

Alienation will begin with one parent badmouthing the other to the children. He or she may then tell falsehoods to the children to sabotage their relationship with the other parent. This emotional neediness acts as a pull on the children who often do not want to disappoint their parent by failing to respond. This parent may not even fully take care of the children during his or her time with the kids, so they may blame the other parent for being incapable. In the long run, parental alienation can have devastating psychological impacts on kids.

If you suspect that your ex-spouse is trying to alienate your children from you, the proper remedy is to go to court if it cannot be stopped. The judge may even order a change in the custody arrangements because courts dislike it when one parent tries to engage in alienation. Contact a divorce attorney to learn more about how to bring this matter to court to put a stop to this insidious behavior.