It is a basic and fundamental right that a parent be able to enjoy the company of his or her own child and divorce does not diminish that right, whether your are the primary residential parent or not. If you are the primary custodial parent, you have the responsibility to maintain and foster that relationship with the other parent. This is not always an easy task; after all, you divorced that person for a reason but you still need to make sure that your child has a relationship with that parent.
There has been a lot of talk about alienation in recent years and as with many things, the term is overused to a great extent. However, it is important to recognize that alienation can be much more subtle than you think. Children are very perceptive and they can pick up on their parent’s disapproval even if it is not “said” out loud. It can be implied in ways we are not even thinking about and children that are already uneasy about a divorce will be very conscious not to want to displease their primary parent. They may begin resisting going for parenting time with the other parent if they receive an unspoken message that mom or dad is unhappy about the interruption or about having to drive them or simply because they know that they won’t be “forced” to go.
It is important to remember that children need both their parents in their lives. Regardless of what you personally think about him or her now, always bear in mind that this is your child’s parent and always will be. A strong relationship is important to your child’s development so just as you make sure they take their vitamins, you need to make sure that you are positive and upbeat about their mom or dad. Posted by Elizabeth A. Calandrillo, Esq.